Power Wins Big in Texas
Will Power was the big winner Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, taking the second of two races held at the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval. Power’s first IZOD IndyCar Series oval-track victory, combined with his third-place finish in the opening 114-lap race, increased his championship points lead to 21 over rival Dario Franchitti.
Franchitti dominated the first race tonight, but could only fight his way to seventh in the night cap after the qualifying lottery for the second race grid positions left him starting 28th in the 30-car field.
Power, who pulled the third starting position in the Race 2 qualifying draw, took the lead from pole sitter Tony Kanaan on Lap 40, after an intense multi-lap battle between the pair. For the remainder of the night, Power relinquished the lead only during pit stops, but still had to hold off a charging Scott Dixon over the final 10 laps.
Continuing a five-year tradition of equality and reliability, all 30 Honda-powered drivers completed the race weekend on the Texas high banks without a single failure of the Honda Indy V-8 engine. The teams logged a total of 13,969.46 trouble-free miles during the Texas race weekend.
Along with Power’s 3-1 finishes tonight, Dixon’s pair of second-place results moved him to third in the championship standings. Marco Andretti also starred in the second race, consistently moving up through the field just ahead of Franchitti, and finishing sixth after starting 27th as a result of the draw.
Tonight’s second race was the first IZOD IndyCar Series event to run caution-free since Homestead, Florida in 2009, and Power’s race average of 206.639 miles per hour was the second-fastest in series history.
The IZOD IndyCar Series continues its run of oval track races next week with the June 19 Milwaukee 225 at the historic Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 18th, finished 2nd: “I think we both [he and teammate Dario Franchitti] got the short end of the stick tonight. The [Race 2 starting position] draw left us well down the field and Will [Power] starting on the second row. Maybe, if we continue to set the [Texas] field this way, we should get extra [championship] points for each car passed. That might even things up a bit!”
Ryan Briscoe (#6 Team Penske Honda) started 12th, finished 3rd: “I had a bit of a scary moment early in the race. I was going down the inside of a slower car in the tri-oval and he started to come down on me. I had to go down onto the grass to avoid an accident. It’s a great result for Will [Power], getting his first oval win, and a great night for Team Penske. It was a long night. I was ‘done’ at the end of the first race and really had to regroup for the second one.”
Erik Berkman (President, Honda Performance Development) on tonight’s races: "The two-race format was an interesting concept, and the fans certainly enjoyed the qualifying draw for the Race 2 grid. The closing laps of both races were typical, Texas events: hard-fought and side-by-side. Dario certainly had control of the first race, and it was great to see Will win his first oval race. The championship is already shaping up to be a repeat of last year’s duel between Franchitti and Power.”
-source: firestone racing