Power wins chaotic Texas IndyCar shootout

 Will Power won a chaotic IndyCar race at the Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, holding his nerve to prevail in an accident-disrupted marathon that saw only nine cars finish. The 36-year-old Australian Team Penske driver claimed his second win of the season after a 248-lap race that was repeatedly interrupted after crashes involving multiple cars.
Will Power

One accident led to a red flag of around half an hour as officials worked to clear up the mess left by a nine-car pile-up.

Chip Ganassi’s Tony Kanaan — who many at trackside felt was culpable for the crash — finished second behind Power ahead of Penske’s Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal.

The race finished under caution after Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato bumped into Scott Dixon.

“It was very intense,” Power said. “I’m so stoked to win in my second home, where my wife (Liz) is from. All the family is here, it just feels awesome.”

But it was the incident involving Kanaan which was the biggest talking point. The drama unfolded near Turn 3 when three cars were side by side.

Kanaan appeared to move up and touch James Hinchcliffe’s vehicle, which careered into Mikhail Aleshin.

Tristan Vautier, rookie Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter, JR Hildebrand, Carlos Munoz and Ryan Hunter-Reay were caught in the chain reaction that followed although all drivers escaped injury.

Kanaan was eventually penalized for blocking and avoidable contact but recovered the lost ground during a series of mandatory cautions.

Afterward Kanaan was apologetic for his role in the crash.

“It was a tough night, just very intense from the first to the last lap,” he said. “I’m going to apologize to (James Hinchcliffe) for what happened — I just got up a little too high.

“We paid the price for my mistake. I’m proud of the team for sticking with me and fighting our way back up front. A lot of things happened and you had to avoid a lot of things to finish. I’m not going to lie, I’m glad it’s over.”

Power led for 180 laps and made the decisive maneuver on lap 243 when he nosed ahead of Scott Dixon’s NTT Data Honda.

In the overall drivers standings, New Zealand’s Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi), who abandoned, remains ahead of Pagenuad, leading by 12 points. — AFP