The Verizon IndyCar Series headed to Texas Motor Speedway Saturday night for the Firestone 600 and in the end it was Ed Carpenter who held off Will Power to win his first race of 2014 and third of his career.
Will Power led a race-high 145 of the 248 laps but for the fourth time in the last five races Power was hit with a pit road speeding penalty. This time around it happened on lap 214 with 35 laps left in the race. After a restart on lap 246 Power charged from sixth place up to second over the final three laps but Ed Carpenter was able to keep his Ed Carpenter Racing car out front by a finishing margin of victory of 0.5247 seconds.
"I knew we had a good car, though we left some on the table in qualifying," said Carpenter, who started fifth. "I love this racetrack and I've always wanted to win here so it's nice to come here and get a win."
Carpenter led 90 total laps and now his No. 20 team has been to victory lane twice this season. Mike Conway, who is driving the car at the road and street course tracks, won at Long Beach earlier in the season.
Before the third and final caution came out on lap 242 when Takuma Sato had a mechanical failure Carpenter led by 12 seconds over Juan Pablo Montoya. Carpenter had to withstand the final restart and hold off Montoya and the charging Will Power.
Power finished second and Montoya a season's best third. Simon Pagenaud finished fourth, Scott Dixon fifth, and Tony Kanaan was the last lead lap car in sixth. Rookie Mikhail Aleshin finished seventh, Helio Castroneves eighth, Ryan Briscoe ninth, and Charlie Kimball rounded out the top 10. Josef Newgarden finished 11th, Graham Rahal 12th, Carlos Munoz 13th, James Hinchcliffe 14th, Jack Hawksworth 15th, Carlos Huertas 16th, and Sebastian Saavedra was the last car running in 17th.
Takuma Sato finished 18th after his mechanical issue. Ryan Hunter-Reay only finished 136 laps before retiring with a mechanical failure. He finished 19th. Sebastien Bourdais and Justin Wilson crashed to bring out the second caution and only completed 118 laps. They finished 20th and 21st respectively. Marco Andretti brought the first caution out on lap five when he stopped on track with a mechanical issue. He finished in 22nd.
After eight races in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Will Power is the points leader with 370 points. Helio Castroneves is 39 points back in second and Ryan Hunter-Reay is 60 points back in third. Simon Pagenaud is fourth, Marco Andretti fifth, rookie Carlos Munoz sixth, Juan Pablo Montoya seventh, Scott Dixon eighth, Tony Kanaan ninth, and Justin Wilson tenth.
The next races up for the series is the doubleheader Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on June 28th and 29th.Tags: ed carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing, Helio Castroneves, IndyCar Series, Juan Pablo Montoya, Mikhail Aleshin, Motorsports, Simon Pagenaud, Texas Motor Speedway, Will Power