IndyCar visited Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, and while it didn’t live up to the wild races of years past, the action on track was still hot – both literally and figuratively.
Two out of the three cautions throughout the night came from both the cars of Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato catching on fire on laps 5 and 241, respectively. However, both managed to walk away from the accidents with injuries only to their cars.
The third caution came out on lap 121 for an accident between Justin Wilson and Sebastien Bourdais. Wilson was making a run on Bourdais when his car got too low in turn four. This caused his car to spin and he collected Bourdais on the way, with both cars eventually making hard contact with the SAFER barrier. Both Bourdais and Wilson were eventually cleared by IndyCar medical staff to drive again.
The most interesting action came from the impressive drives of season points leader Will Power and competitor Ed Carpenter, who drives for his own team. Carpenter, whose Indy 500 was finished early due to an accident, was in the lead when Sato’s car caught fire. While others behind him made a pit stop during the caution period, Carpenter decided to take a gamble and stayed out on older tires. It ended up being a smart decision as he went on to win the race. This was his third career win and the second win for Ed Carpenter Racing this season. The other win came from Mike Conway, who drives for Carpenter on road and street circuits, in April’s Long Beach race.
Power, who started on pole for the race, kept the lead for over half the race. Early in the race, he even held a seven second lead on Tony Kanaan, who was running second at the time. Power was a contender for the win until he received a penalty for speeding on pit road. This caused him to drop back to sixth place and he eventually gained positions back through a pit stop during the late-race caution for Sato. He was eventually able to regain more ground when the race restarted, finishing second when the checkered flag waved.
Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud, and Scott Dixon rounded out the top five.