Power avoids Texas carnage to take victory for Penske

Will Power took victory in Texas on Saturday night, his second win at the Speedway - Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

Will Power led a race high 180 laps at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night and took his second victory of 2017 after a chaotic Rainguard Water Sealers 600.

Only nine drivers took the chequered flag after numerous incidents, the largest of which took out six cars, while the closing stages of the race saw competition yellows being introduced as Firestone suffered blistering issues with its tyres on the newly-resurfaced track surface.

The early laps saw a battle for the lead between polesitter Charlie Kimball of Chip Ganassi Racing and Dale Coyne Racing’s impressive stand-in Tristan Vautier, but when Alexander Rossi found himself squeezed between Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, he brought out the first caution of the race, which gave Power the lead for the first time.

Helio Castroneves was the next to crash on lap 91, but it was the lap 152 crash that thinned out the field somewhat, with Kanaan being blamed for the incident that saw James Hinchcliffe, Mikhail Aleshin, Vautier, Ed Jones, Carlos Muñoz and Ryan Hunter-Reay all suffer heavy damage, while both Ed Carpenter and JR Hildebrand were also caught up in the crash but later returned to the fray after quick repairs from their mechanics.

Kanaan was running on the inside of Hinchcliffe heading down the backstretch, while Aleshin had a run on his Schmidt Peterson Motorsport team-mate and made it three-wide, only for Kanaan to edge his way up the track and leave nowhere to go for the other two.

The incident started a chain reaction, with Vautier hitting the wall hard, while the second Coyne entry of Jones braked hard to avoid the crash only to be hit from behind from Hildebrand. Carpenter was working his way through but went down the track to avoid the debris, only to clip Hunter-Reay, while Muñoz was also caught up in the carnage.

Tristan Vautier (18) and Charlie Kimball battled for the lead in the opening laps – Credit: Chris Owens / IndyCar

The race was red flagged while the cars were removed from the track and debris cleaned up, but Kanaan, who got away without damage despite being the instigator of it, was forced to undertake a twenty-second stop and hold penalty in the pits that lost him two laps.

Despite this, he was able to regain both of those lost laps when pitting under the competition yellows, which came at the end of thirty-lap green flag laps periods as Firestone requested pit stops after safety concerns following a large number of blisters on their tyres.

Power and Dixon were embroiled in a battle for the lead, but the New Zealander was caught up in the final crash of the night after colliding with Takuma Sato, while Max Chilton and Conor Daly were both involved as well, although both were able to reach the chequered flag.

The race finished under caution, with Power securing his 31st career victory from the recovering Kanaan, while Simon Pagenaud made it two Team Penske machines on the podium in third.

Graham Rahal stayed out of trouble, somehow threading his way through the chaos to finish fourth for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing ahead of Gabby Chaves, who gave Harding Racing their first top five finish in just their second outing in IndyCar, while Marco Andretti was the final driver on the lead lap, finishing sixth for Andretti Autosport.

Pole sitter Kimball was an early retiree when his car suffered an oil leak, while Josef Newgarden crashed out after attempting to go three-wide for a pass on lap 202.

Tony Kanaan had an often chaotic race in Texas but still finished second – Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Texas Motor Speedway Race Result

112Will PowerAUSTeam Penske2:32:31.0118
210Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi Racing+0.1978s
31Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske+0.3740s
415Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+0.8112s
588Gabby ChavesUSAHarding Racing+1.8984s
627Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport+4.1632s
74Conor DalyUSAAJ Foyt Enterprises+1 Lap
88Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing+3 Laps
9/RET9Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi RacingRetired
10/RET26Takuma SatoJAPAndretti AutosportRetired
11/RET20Ed CarpenterUSAEd Carpenter RacingRetired
1221JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing+33 Laps
RET2Josef NewgardenUSATeam PenskeRetired
RET5James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsRetired
RET7Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsRetired
RET18Tristan VautierFRADale Coyne RacingRetired
RET19Ed JonesUAEDale Coyne RacingRetired
RET14Carlos MunozCOLAJ Foyt EnterprisesRetired
RET28Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti AutosportRetired
RET3Helio CastronevesBRZTeam PenskeRetired
RET83Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi RacingRetired
RET98Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta AutosportRetired