Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Turmoil for IndyCar with the pack back at repaved Texas

Kimball Is The Big Star In Texas IndyCar Qualifying Vautier starting IndyCar return strongly
Vera Richards | 14 June, 2017, 04:55

Kiwi Scott Dixon has been involved in another IndyCar crash, this time at the Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday (NZ time). The race ended under this caution flag.

The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to the site of one of its closest races for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600.

"Like the easiest day of your life if you lead a pack race", Power said.

Team owner Roger Penske congratulates Will Power in Victory Lane after Power's win in the IndyCar auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.

There were nine cautions during the 248 lap race at the Texas Motor Speedway oval, including the one which took the nine running cars to the chequered flag.

The race was about to produce an incredible finish before Takuma Sato dropped a wheel into the tri-oval grass that sent the victor of the 101st Indianapolis 500 shooting up the track into Scott Dixon's Honda with six laps to go.

Kimball's Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Scott Dixon took second place, while Alexander Rossi continued his good oval qualifying form by securing third place for the start. NASCAR and Indy auto veteran PJ Jones held off Gordon on a late restart to take the victory in Race 1, followed by Gavin Harlien, Paul Morris and Matthew Brabham.

Despite the crash, Dixon finished ninth and retained the unofficial championship lead after nine of 17 races with 326 points.

"Apparently I got blamed for all of them", Kanaan said. "During qualifying we just took a swing at it and went out and got the job done".

The final caution came when Sato, driving the same vehicle in which he won the Indianapolis 500 in two weeks ago and pushing for another win, got his left side slightly into the grass on the front stretch with five laps to go.

Dixon, a two-time victor at TMS, will take an eight-point lead into Saturday's event over Helio Castroneves, a four-time victor in Cowtown.

"I'm so stoked to win", said Power, who is married to a Plano native. "I could see Dixon was able to pass me at the start/finish line".

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 finished sixth, the only other driver to complete the full race distance.

"Sato was all over the place and was going to crash someone", Pagenaud said.

James Hinchcliffe got loose after making contact with Tony Kanaan, who appeared to move up the track into him. 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.

When told Ganassi said Hinchcliffe should have lifted, Hinchcliffe responded: "That's adorable". 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. It was then that the caution came out for Castroneves' crash in Turn 2, and in the cycle of stops that ensued Hinchcliffe got his lap back. Vehicle owner Dale Coyne went up to Kanaan's auto while it was lined up on pit road during the red flag, then leaned into the cockpit and said something. Race stewards assessed him a stop-and-hold penalty under a green flag, costing him two laps.

When Hinchcliffe was checked and released from the infield care center, he was asked who caused the crash.

Power led Tony Kanaan to the yellow and checkered flags.

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