Rahal rolling as he arrives at Texas off 2 IndyCar wins

Ross Houston
June 16, 2017

Will Power emerged victorious Saturday night from a wild Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. All the family is here. Dixon had been giving Power all he could handle, and Power said he was thinking hard about how he could distance himself from Dixon before Sato took care of that problem for him. "We were just talking about it and her cousin said, 'Man, you haven't won for me here yet.'. Shows you how good that Chevy engine is, man, it was super fast tonight". Dixon, the current point-leader, missed the pole by less than one-hundredth of a second. Simon Pagenaud was third, followed by last year's victor Graham Rahal and Gaby Chaves. Castroneves had to settle for 20th, the first time in nine race this season he didn't finish in the top 10.

The final caution came a lap later when Japan's Takuma Sato, driving the same auto he won the Indianapolis 500 in two weeks ago and pushing for another, got his left side slightly into the grass on the front stretch, with five laps to go.

Sato made a three-wide pass for third with seven laps to go, then tried to go three-wide on the outside for the lead with six remaining.

The Sato-Dixon crash was the last of five crashes off the night.

Power led for 180 laps and made the decisive manoeuvre on lap 243 when he nosed ahead of Scott Dixon's NTT Data Honda. "We were able to run second lane on a dusty track already, so I thought it was good fun". The drama unfolded near Turn 3 when three cars were side by side.

"I got back in it pretty quick and the team made it easy because the auto was so good from the start, to be honest", said Vautier, filling in for the injured Sebastien Bourdais this weekend. Hinchcliffe got loose coming out of his pit, then swerved into Castroneves at the same time Sato was pulling out of the first stall. Kanaan, who was in contention for the victory, lost two laps by serving that penalty.

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. It was the 31st victory of his career, and he moved up from eighth in the championship to fifth (283) behind Dixon (325), Pagenaud (313), Sato (312) and Helio Castroneves (305).

The Indy vehicle version of NASCAR's "big one" happened on Lap 152 when Hinchcliffe and Kanaan made contact.

That led to a spark-spraying chain reaction that took out both Dale Coyne Racing drivers, Tristan Vautier and Ed Jones, and sent driver-owner Ed Carpenter and his teammate JR Hildebrand to the garage.

Hinchcliffe, squeezed tightly between Kanaan and Aleshin, was left with nowhere to go when Kanaan began sliding up the track from inside position. Dale Coyne, team owner for Vautier and Jones, walked to Kanaan's auto during the 31-minute red-flag stoppage and had some words for the Brazilian. He finished second despite being levied a 20-second stop-and-hold penalty after being involved in the largest incident of the race.

The sixth caution flag of the race came out on lap 190 as a competition caution.

Robby Gordon's high-flying Speed Energy Stadium Super Trucks ran races before and after the Indy vehicle race. [He or his spotter clearly should have seen Hinchcliffe there, per the stewards; see update below.] Kanaan's auto will be continuing on the race, however, the others involved in the crash were not. The layout included several jumps, including a 140-foot flight between dirt ramps, part of the legends vehicle oval, most of pit lane and a jump into the infield.

"This is too much of a pack race".

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