Power, big crash dominate Texas

Team Penske Indy Car driver Will Power celebrate won the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge during Carb Day practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday
Team Penske’s Will Power won at Texas Motor Speedway in 2007
Author

12 June, 2017

If "everything's bigger in Texas", the Verizon IndyCar Series certainly delivered Saturday night with an incident-filled event at Texas Motor Speedway.

Driving his Team Penske Chevrolet, Power led for a race-high 180 laps and made the decisive pass for the lead on Lap 243 when he edged in front of the championship series leader, Scott Dixon of New Zealand.

Dixon maintains a narrow championship lead as the series moves to Road America in Wisconsin in a fortnight.

"Our vehicle started off struggling a little bit in the race, but then as the high-line started coming in we were getting better", said Rossi.

The vehicle of Helio Castroneves is towed into the garage area after a crash during the IndyCar auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Because of the tire issues, IndyCar officials instituted three "competition cautions" that would stop the race three more times over the final 90 laps in 30-lap increments. With only eight of the 22 cars finishing the race, 12 of the non-finishing cars were forced out due to contact.

Will Power, of Australia, takes the checkered flag under yellow for the win, followed by Tony Kanaan, of Brazil, during the IndyCar auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas. The seventh caution flag of the race came out on lap 201 when Josef Newgarden tried to go three-wide in turns 3 and 4 and got loose off the exit of turn 4 and hit the wall. Just eight cars completed the race, six of which finished on the lead lap.

Sato, driving the same vehicle in which he won the Indianapolis 500 two weeks earlier, was pushing for the lead when he clipped the grass along the front stretch.

"Over the moon to win here", Power said.

"I went to pass Tony (Kanaan) on the inside of (Turn) 3, and then we were three-wide when Scott suddenly came up late on my inside", said Rossi, a Nevada City native. "I'm so stoked to win in my second home".

France's Simon Pagenaud was third, ahead of defending race champion Graham Rahal (US), who was coming of winning both races at Detroit last week. Marco Andretti was the final driver on the lead lap, crossing the line sixth.

"It was pretty nerve-wracking out there", Pagenaud said. That put Hinchcliffe in the middle of three-wide, and he made contact with his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate Mikhail Aleshin.

Hinchcliffe, squeezed tightly between Kanaan and Aleshin, was left with nowhere to go when Kanaan began sliding up the track from inside position.

"He wasn't driving smart, or respectfully", Hinchcliffe said. Hinchcliffe's auto bounced off Mikhail Aleshin's vehicle and that started a chain reaction that collected Tristan Vautier, rookie Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter, JR Hildebrand, Carlos Munoz and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Hunter-Reay was involved in the nine-car incident on lap 152, and Sato spun on lap 244 causing the race to finish under caution.

Carpenter, who took his repaired auto back on track 12 laps down, also blamed Kanaan.

Hinchcliffe and Carpenter put the blame on Kanaan, who was lined up to resume the race when Dale Coyne went up the No. 10 auto, leaned into the cockpit and said something.

Indy vehicle forced Kanaan to stop and hold in his pit for 20 seconds for avoidable contact, putting him two laps down.

The 36-year-old Australian Team Penske driver claimed his second win of the season after a 248-lap race that was repeatedly interrupted after crashes involving multiple cars.

Helio Castroneves suffered a front-right tyre failure during the early stages of the race, running straight on at Turn 2 and making heavy contact with the SAFER barrier.


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