Carpenter wins IndyCar race at Texas
Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Ed Carpenter held off Team Penske drivers Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya after a restart with just two laps remaining to win Saturday night's Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Power, the pole sitter, dominated most of this race by leading 145 of 248 laps, but Carpenter, who started fifth, grabbed the top position from Power on lap 182.
During a late-race round of pit stops under green, Carpenter and Power pitted from 1-2 on the same lap, but Power received a pit lane speeding penalty, which put him nearly one lap behind in sixth after serving his drive-through.
"That's four drive-throughs in five races," Power said of the number of pit lane speeding penalties that he has received this season. "It's not good. I'm getting them every race."
Carpenter held a 15-second lead over second-place runner Montoya with seven laps left when Takuma Sato blew his engine and dropped fluid on the track, forcing the third caution. During the caution, Power pitted for four tires and returned to the field in sixth.
Power then charged to the front following the restart and took second away from Montoya during the final lap. But Power came up 0.5247 seconds short of the victory.
"What an awesome call by my team to get tires," Power said. "Ed was awful strong, and he's an awesome driver. It would have been a good battle there at the end. I was just really happy to get second."
Carpenter, who is competing at the oval tracks and not the road/street courses this season, claimed his third career IndyCar win. His maiden victory in the series came in 2011 at Kentucky and second win the following year in Fontana, California.
"I knew we had a good car, though we left some on the table in qualifying," said Carpenter, who led a total of 90 laps. "Awesome night. I've loved this racetrack for a long time, but I've had a lot of bad luck here. Really always wanted to win here. So super excited."
Two weeks ago, Carpenter started on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 but was involved in an accident with James Hinchcliffe following a restart with 25 laps remaining. He had led 26 laps and was in contention to win prior to his incident.
"We had the car to win Indy," Carpenter said. "I'm not saying we would have beat Ryan [Hunter-Reay], but I think we were the best shot to have a shot at Ryan. So it's nice to come back here and get a win."
Mike Conway drives Carpenter's No. 20 car on the road/street course races this year. Conway won on the streets of Long Beach, California in April. He will resume his driving duties in that car later this month in Houston.
Power increased his lead in the championship point standings to 39 over teammate Helio Castroneves, who finished eighth. Castroneves won last year's race at Texas. He also scored the victory in race 2 in the weekend doubleheader at Detroit's Belle Isle Park this past Sunday.
Montoya ended up finishing a season-best third, while Simon Pagenaud took the fourth spot. Scott Dixon, the defending IndyCar champion, was fifth. Tony Kanaan, the last driver on the lead lap, placed sixth.
Hunter-Reay and his Andretti Autosport teammate, Marco Andretti, both suffered engine failure, which put them out of the race early.
Andretti started 17th but quickly moved into the top-10 before his motor blew on lap 4, causing the back end of his No. 25 car to catch on fire. The flames were quickly extinguished when he had stopped on pit lane and hopped out of the car. He finished last in the 22-car field.
"This one is frustrating," Andretti said. "This one really hurts for the championship too."
Hunter-Reay's engine expired on lap 137.
"It just lost power of all of the sudden," Hunter-Reay said. "It's really frustrating. We made a change on that last stop, which I thought would bring us in the game there. We were running in seventh and still had a shot at it. It was a long night. We needed the points tonight most of all."
Hunter-Reay is now 60 points behind Power.
06/08 01:32:56 ET