Will Power claims IndyCar win at Texas Motor Speedway

By The Sports Xchange  |  June 11, 2017 at 1:40 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Will Power emerged victorious Saturday night from a wild Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The race ended under caution with only nine of the 22 cars running.

Tony Kanaan finished second with Simon Pagenaud third.

There was one big crash. Three cars were side by side approaching Turn 3 when it appeared Kanaan, who was on the bottom, moved up and made contact with James Hinchcliffe. Hinchcliffe's car 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.

No one was injured.

Kanaan was penalized for blocking and avoidable contact. In serving the penalty, Kanaan fell two laps off the pace, but made them up because of a couple mandatory cautions as IndyCar tried to managed increased tire wear from higher speeds than in the test.

Power, who won for the 31st time in his career, said the pack racing experienced by the field was a result of the tires staying good for too long.

"It didn't matter what lap you were on it was like you had new tires on," he said. "So, it made for very tight racing."

The race ended under caution because Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato made contact with Scott Dixon.

In a race this close, almost everyone was mad at someone during the race.

"Apparently I got blamed for all of them," Kanaan said. "I got a penalty, paid a penalty."

Kanaan went on to call the race "very intense from the first lap to the last lap."

"I'm glad it's over," he said.

Despite the carnage, the crowd estimated at 40,000 gave what was left of the field a standing ovation after Power took the checkered flag. The win was Power's second of the season and tied him with Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti for ninth place on the sport's all-time list.

On Lap 200, Josef Newgarden tried to go three-wide in Turn 4, and that didn't work. He lost control and somehow kept the car close to the wall and those trailing avoided hitting him.

On Lap 37, Alexander Rossi found himself in the middle of Dixon and Kanaan, and three-wide approaching Turn 3 didn't work. Rossi lost control, spinning relatively slowly toward the outside wall. Contact ensued, knocking last year's Indianapolis 500 winner out of the race. He was not injured.

More action followed on the pit stop under caution. Hinchcliffe spun near the exit of pit road, forcing contact with Helio Castroneves and Sato. Neither Castroneves nor Sato suffered much car damage and were able to make repairs without losing a lap. Hinchcliffe wasn't so fortunate. He was flagged for avoidable contact, necessitating a drive through pit road as his penalty. That cost him a lap to the field.

After serving the penalty, Hinchcliffe came storming through the field, getting to the back of the lead car. 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.

Castroneves wasn't injured.

On the restart, Carpenter had light contact with Vautier on the front straightaway. Carpenter made a long spin toward Turn 1 and saved it. All cars trailing him avoided contact.

NOTES: Charlie Kimball won the first pole of his Verizon IndyCar Series career, edging Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, but his run at the top lasted only 28 laps. Soon after relinquishing the lead to Vautier, Kimball's Honda began leaking oil. During the pit stop following Rossi's crash, a significant amount of oil dropped in the pit box and the crew was forced to push the car behind the wall. ... Tristan Vautier was subbing for the injured Sebastien Bourdais, who crashed last month in qualifying at Indy. ... After five consecutive weeks of competition, including three at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar is due for an off weekend -- and it will now get one. The next race is June 25 at the Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

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