INDYCAR: Carpenter edges Power to win in Texas
Ed Carpenter held off Will Power and three other drivers during a restart shootout in the final three laps to win the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway by 0.5247 of a second.
It was the third career victory for the owner/driver and second for Ed Carpenter Racing this season. There have been six different winners, including Carpenter’s teammate Mike Conway, in eight races.
“I just felt like we left some on the table in qualifying, but it made me extra motivated,” said Carpenter, who qualified fifth in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet. “I think we were for sure the car to beat at the end. I have loved this race track for a long time and had a lot of bad luck here. I have really always wanted to win here, so I’m super excited.”
Carpenter, who led only a single lap in his previous 12 starts on the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval with a previous best finish of fourth, led 90 laps.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished a season-high third place in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske car and Simon Pagenaud was fourth in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car. Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon placed fifth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, followed by teammate Tony Kanaan.
Power, the Verizon P1 Award winner in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, led more than half of the 248-lap race, but was issued a drive-through penalty because of a pit lane speed violation with 35 laps left.
He was sixth when the final yellow flag was shown on Lap 242, and race strategist Tim Cindric called in Power to pit two laps later for fresh tires. Following the restart, he overtook three cars to gain back most of the points he would have lost because of the penalty. Power has a 39-point lead over teammate Helio Castroneves in the championship heading to the doubleheader in Houston.
“I was really disappointed by (speeding) again, but what an awesome call by my team. It would have been a good battle there at the end, but to get the Verizon car second was just an awesome last lap,” said Power, who has three runner-up finishes to complement his two victories this season. “One more lap and the guy with the tires is going to win.”
Following the conclusion of the race, Verizon IndyCar Series officials reviewed the results and penalized #8 Briscoe, #17 Saavedra, #67 Newgarden and #83 Kimball 30 seconds for failing to follow the direction of Race Control (Rule 188.8.131.52). Per Verizon IndyCar Series rules, lapped cars must fall to the rear of the field for restarts within the final 15 laps and all lapped cars were instructed to drive through the pits on Lap 244. #8 Briscoe and #67 Newgarden failed to drive through the pits and #17 Saavedra and #83 Kimball drove to the pits, but took service.