After a doubleheader in Detroit last weekend, the Verizon IndyCar Series is back this weekend with the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor-Speedway. Can last week's winner Graham Rahal win at Texas for the 2nd year in a row? We will just have to wait and find out as I recap and review this race. Let's first take a look at the starting lineup.
1. Charlie Kimball: #83 Honda
2. Scott Dixon: #9 Honda
3. Alexander Rossi: #98 Honda
4. Tony Kanaan: #10 Honda
5. Tristan Vautier: #18 Honda
6. Max Chilton: #8 Honda
7. Mikhail Aleshin: #7 Honda
8. Takuma Sato: #26 Honda
9. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
10. Helio Castroneves: #3 Chevrolet
11. Graham Rahal: #15 Honda
12. Simon Pagenaud: #1 Chevrolet
13. Ryan Hunter-Reay: #28 Honda
14. Ed Carpenter: #20 Chevrolet
15. Marco Andretti: #27 Honda
16. James Hinchcliffe: #5 Honda
17. Josef Newgarden: #2 Chevrolet
18. J.R. Hildebrand: #21 Chevrolet
19. Ed Jones (R): #19 Honda
20. Gabby Chaves: #88 Chevrolet
21. Conor Daly: #4 Chevrolet
22. Carlos Munoz: #14 Chevrolet
Who I picked to win this race: Marco Andretti: #27 Honda
Lap 1: The green flag is out and the race in Texas is on. Pole sitter Charlie Kimball leads the opening lap.
Lap 12: Tony Kanaan tries to pass Tristan Vautier for 4th in turn 1, but Tony can't complete the pass.
Lap 14: Tristan Vautier is now in the top 3 as he passes Alexander Rossi for 3rd around the outside in turn 2. Vautier passes Dixon for 2nd one lap later.
Lap 19: Tristan Vautier tries to pass Charlie Kimball for the race lead in turn 4, but he can't complete the pass.
Lap 29: Tristan Vautier finally passes Charlie Kimball in turn 1 and is the new race leader. Josef Newgarden passes Kimball for 2nd on the back straightaway.
Lap 33: Will Power is now in the top 3 for the first time in this race as he passes Charlie Kimball around the outside of turn 2 for 3rd.
Lap 38: The first caution is out as Alexander Rossi crashes into the turn 3 wall. Alexander's car has heavy damage and it looks like his race is over. The drivers make pit stops during this caution period. As the pit stops are happening, there is a 3 car incident at the exit of pit road involving James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato, and Helio Castroneves. It also looks like pole sitter Charlie Kimball has a problem as his team is pushing his car behind the pit wall and into the garage. Josef Newgarden is penalized for speeding on pit road.
Lap 49: The green flag is back out with Will Power as the race leader.
Lap 51: Scott Dixon tries to pass Tristan Vautier for 2nd in turn 1, but Scott can't complete the pass.
Lap 60: Simon Pagenaud is moving up through the field as he passes Tony Kanaan for 4th on the back straightaway.
Lap 63: Helio Castroneves is moving back up through the field as he passes Carlos Munoz around the outside of turn 1 for 9th place.
Lap 74: Helio Castroneves is now in the top 5 as he passes Mikhail Aleshin for 5th on the back straightaway.
Lap 84: There was some slight contact between Mikhail Aleshin and Helio Castroneves as they battle for 4th.
Lap 91: The 2nd caution is out as 3rd place Helio Castroneves has crashed and hit the outside and inside wall on the back straightaway. Most of the drivers
Lap 103: The green flag is back out with Will Power as the race leader. The 3rd caution immediately comes out as Ed Carpenter made slight contact with Tristan Vautier and spins his car out on the front straightaway. Ed's able to keep his car off the wall and does not have any significant damage to his car.
Lap 108: The green flag is back out with Will Power as the race leader.
Lap 111: Tony Kanaan passes both Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud respectively and is now in 2nd place.
Lap 112: We see some brief 3 wide racing on the back straightaway between Will Power, Tony Kanaan, and Tristan Vautier as they battle for the race lead. Vautier gets passes a few laps later by Simon for 3rd.
Lap 124: We have reached the halfway point of this 248 lap race. Here is the top 5.
1. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
2. Simon Pagenaud: #1 Chevrolet
3. Tony Kanaan: #10 Honda
4. Tristan Vautier: #18 Honda
5. Scott Dixon: #9 Honda
Lap 138: The 4th caution comes out as there is debris in turn 2. Most of the drivers make pit stops during this caution period.
Lap 148: The green flag is back out with Max Chilton as the race leader.
Lap 149: Will Power is now the new race leader as he passes Max Chiton around the outside of turn 4.
Lap 152: The 5th caution is out as there is a huge crash on the back straightaway. The drivers involved are James Hinchcliffe, J.R. Hildebrand, Mikhail Aleshin, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Jones, Carlos Munoz, Ed Carpenter, and Tristan Vautier. Because it was such a huge crash, the red flag came out on Lap 155. After about 35 minutes, the red flag is lifted and the race is restarted back under caution. The drivers then make pit stops during this caution period. Marco Andretti gets a new rear wing during this caution period.
Lap 160: The green flag is back out with Will Power as the race leader. Simon Pagenaud passes Scott Dixon for 2nd on the back straightaway.
Lap 163: Tony Kanaan will serve a stop and hold penalty for avoidable contact and blocking. Tony rejoins the race 2 laps down.
Lap 166: Josef Newgarden passes Scott Dixon for 3rd place in turn 1.
Lap 167: There was some slight contact between Graham Rahal and Gabby Chaves on the back straightaway, as Gabby passes Graham for 6th place. Chaves is then ordered by IndyCar Race Control to give up the spot back to Rahal.
Lap 172: Scott Dixon gets back around Josef Newgarden for 3rd in turn 3.
Lap 186: Josef Newgarden gets back around Scott Dixon on the back straightaway for 3rd place.
Lap 189: 3rd place Josef Newgarden makes a pit stop. As he enters pit road, the 6th caution is out as it is a competition caution. Most of the drivers make mandatory pit stops during this caution period. Scott is able to beat Power out of pit road and will be the new race leader on the next restart.
Lap 198: The green flag is back out with Scott Dixon is the race leader. But Will Power passes Scott around the outside in turn 3 and is back into the race lead.
Lap 202: The 7th caution is out as Josef Newgarden has crashed and hit the front straightaway wall hard. Looks like his race is over.
Lap 210: The green flag is back out with Will Power as the race leader.
Lap 215: Takuma Sato passes Simon Pagenaud for 3rd in turn 4.
Lap 216: Graham Rahal passes both Max Chilton and Simon Pagenaud around the outside of turn 1 respectively and is now in 4th place. Simon passes Graham a lap later for 4th.
Lap 223: Takuma Sato passes Scott Dixon for 2nd on the back straightaway.
Lap 224: Takuma Sato tries to pass Will Power for the race lead on the back straightaway, but he can't complete the pass.
Lap 225: The 8th caution is out as it is another competition caution. Most of the drivers make mandatory pit stops during this caution period.
Lap 230: The green flag is back out with Will Power as the race leader.
Lap 235: After about 4 laps, race leader Will Power and Scott Dixon are still side by side for the race lead.
Lap 238: 4th place Max Chilton's car gets slightly loose and looses a few positions.
Lap 240: There was some slight contact between Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud as they battle for 3rd place.
Lap 244: The 9th caution comes out with just 5 laps to go as there is another big crash, this time in turn 1. The drivers involved are 2nd place Scott Dixon, 3rd place Takuma Sato, Max Chilton, and Conor Daly. Looks like the race is going to end under caution and Will Power is going to win the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. Tony Kanaan will finish in 2nd, and Simon Pagenaud will finish in 3rd place.
My thoughts on this race: I wish I could just end this review by saying what I immediately said after the race was over, and that's "what a heck of a race". But I am not going to do that because that would be the cheap and somewhat cowards way out of doing a review for this race. I got more on my mind that just those few words that I said after this race was all set and done.
First off I got to congratulate Will Power for winning this race tonight. He truly earned this win after starting back in 9th place. He worked hard throughout the race and eventually found his way up into first place. And after he got into first place, nobody had much of an answer for him. Sure he got challenged a few times by drivers such as Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, and his team-mate Simon Pagenaud. But despite being challenged at times, those drivers could not get around Will for the lead as he held them all off and went to victory lane. It's his 2nd win of the season and 2nd career at Texas Motor-Speedway as he won at Texas back in 2011. It's also his 2nd win of the season and it looks like Will might have some momentum coming his way as the next race on the schedule is the Kohler Grand Prix of Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, a track that Will Power won at just last year.
Overall as I mentioned earlier, this was one heck of a race with a lot of exciting action and side by side racing. This race was as crazy and wild as the Indy 500 that happened a few weeks ago and you can almost make the argument that this race was even better than the Indy 500. Even though we as fans had to sit through a long 35 minute red flag, this was still a fun race to watch. And another big plus for this race this year was that there was no rain. We didn't have a situation like we did last year where the race started in June, but ended in late August due to many rain delays. The weather this weekend in Texas was almost perfect and there was no rain delays. The race started on time and ended about a half hour later than expected, but only because of the 35 minute red flag. Hopefully that's the case every year the Verizon IndyCar Series comes to Texas Motor-Speedway, and hopefully we can see another exciting race next year at Texas.
Before I go, let me give you guys the full official results from this race. Where we only had 6 drivers finish on the lead lap, and 7 cars cross the start/finish line to finish this race.
1. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
2. Tony Kanaan: #10 Honda
3. Simon Pagenaud: #1 Chevrolet
4. Graham Rahal: #15 Honda
5. Gabby Chaves: #88 Chevrolet
6. Marco Andretti: #27 Honda
7. Conor Daly: #4 Chevrolet
8. Max Chilton: #8 Honda
9. Scott Dixon: #9 Honda
10. Takuma Sato: #26 Honda
11. Ed Carpenter: #20 Chevrolet
12. J,R. Hildebrand: #21 Chevrolet
13. Josef Newgarden: #2 Chevrolet
14. James Hinchcliffe: #5 Honda
15. Mikhail Aleshin: #7 Honda
16. Tristan Vautier: #18 Honda
17. Ed Jones (R): #19 Honda
18. Carlos Munoz: #14 Chevrolet
19. Ryan Hunter-Reay: #28 Honda
20. Helio Castroneves: #3 Chevrolet
21. Charlie Kimball: #83 Honda
22. Alexander Rossi: #98 Honda
Next race: Kohler Grand Prix of Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. On Sunday June 25th on NBCSN.
By: Andrew Harrington