Power penalty sees Carpenter coast to win

Power penalty sees Carpenter coast to win

8 June 2014 – After leading 89 laps, Ed Carpenter has won the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. He and Will Power had cleared the field by nearly ten seconds before their final pit-stops, but Power was unable to slow to the pit lane speed limit when he came in, resulting in a drive-through penalty.

The oval specialist, who is also a team owner, was disappointed in his fifth place starting position, but he and his car had a clear speed advantage throughout the race, quickly climbing into the top three, where he would remain for the duration of the race.

Finishing second was a resilient Power. After his penalty, he was the last car on the lead lap, but given Carpenter and his dominance early on, that meant he only dropped to P6.

When flames began to shoot from the back of Takuma Sato's Honda engine with a handful of laps to go, Power came into the pits for fresh tyres (since he would remain in sixth regardless). The fresh rubber made all the difference as his final lap was at least 4mph quicker than the cars around him, allowing him to shoot past Juan Pablo Montoya on the final lap, clearing the Columbian by Turn 3 and claiming second place.  His speed continued onto the frontstretch where he finished just half a second behind Carpenter, thus keeping his championship hopes alive.

Montoya, who has only ever raced at Texas in NASCAR, ran a very consistent race and finished on the podium, capping off a 1-2-3 result for Chevrolet engines, as well.

The start of the race looked much different than the finish, though, with Tony Kanaan leading early on with Ryan Hunter-Reay climbing his way through the field after starting P12. Hoping to claim some good luck for the first time in a while, this year's Indy 500 champion was again left disappointed when his Honda engine also let go on Lap 136. He would be classified P19.

Marco Andretti was the first car out of the race with yet another Honda engine failure – this one coming on just the third lap. The race would otherwise remain caution free until lap 120 when Justin Wilson was allegedly forced below the white line by Sebastian Bourdais. Transitioning suddenly from the high banking to the flat apron, Wilson lost control and collected Bourdais before sending them both into the wall. They were unharmed in the accident, and Bourdais later accepted responsibility for the incident.

Also perennially running with the leaders was Frenchman Simon Pagenaud. Several times closing in on the leaders after pit stops, Pagenaud couldn't match their speed in the longer stints and settled for P4 as the highest finishing Honda engine. He and rookie Mikhail Aleshin (who finished in ninth) were the only two Hondas represented in the top ten by the time the chequered flag came out.

Through the long green flag runs, much of the race's pace and strategy were dictated by the pit-stops. As the ambient air temperatures dropped at nightfall, many drivers were able to extend the life of their tyres from 25 laps nearly to 40. The stints all seemed to start with cars running near 210mph, but by the end those speeds would tumble to below 200mph, signaling the teams to come in.

When the first caution came out on Lap 120, though, Carpenter had gained the lead through the pit-stop rotation and already had 30 laps on his tyres. As the caution continued and that tally neared 40, he suddenly found his strategy would be in sync with the lead cars. This meant that all nine of the lead cars were able to pit together, but he would lose the lead to Power after taking evasive action leaving his pit stall.

On the restart, Power held the lead from Carpenter, Montoya, Dixon and Pagenaud. Kanaan, who had been running in third, was forced into a long stop by electrical glitches. The team responded by changing his steering wheel, which ended up solving the issue, but he soon became the last car on the lead lap.

After a look around Power on the outside, Carpenter settled behind the Aussie for the entirety of that stint, failing to get around Power even after the next pit-stop.

However, because of the green flag pit stops shuffling the leaders back in the field, Power soon found himself having to get out of the throttle to avoid contact with a slower car. His 203mph lap was nearly 10mph below Carpenter's, and he was unable to keep the lead because of it.

This turned out to be the defining stint for the two drivers, stretching their lead over the rest of the field to ten seconds with one pit stop remaining. The battle behind for P3 saw Kanaan and Montoya trade spots several times, but Kanaan would soon find his tyres fading, letting both Montoya and Dixon by before the race's end.

The ensuing pit-stop, which was also under green, nearly threw the race away for Power because of his penalty, but his gamble after Sato's caution allowed the race's polesitter to reclaim second place – and the lead in the IndyCar points standings.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 20 October 2014

  2. Force India confirms Hülkenberg for 2015 10:08

    Force India confirms Hülkenberg for 2015

    Force India has confirmed that Nico Hülkenberg will continue to race for the team next season. Hülkenberg, 27, returned t...

    F1
  3. Silverstone, Le Mans back on FR3.5 calendar 09:19

    Silverstone, Le Mans back on FR3.5 calendar

    The World Series by Renault package, which includes Formula Renault 3.5, will return to Silverstone and Le Mans next...

    FR 3.5
  4. Sainz Jr. elated by championship success 07:22

    Sainz Jr. elated by championship success

    Red Bull youngster Carlos Sainz Jr. hailed his "incredible" season after he succeeded Kevin Magnussen as Formula Renault 3.5...

    FR 3.5
  5. Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates title 05:04

    Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates title

    Mercedes celebrates its first Formula 1 Constructors' success at its bases in Brackley and Brixworth.

    F1
  6. Sunday 19 October 2014

  7. DTM champion Wittmann gets Toro Rosso test 20:39

    DTM champion Wittmann gets Toro Rosso test

    Marco Wittmann will receive a Formula 1 test with Toro Rosso as his reward from BMW for winning this year's DTM...

    DTM
  8. Verstappen ends F3 season in third place 17:11

    Verstappen ends F3 season in third place

    Future Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen has finished his sole FIA Formula 3 European campaign in third place after losing...

    F1
  9. Kubica: Formula 1 return would be a dream 14:30

    Kubica: Formula 1 return would be a dream

    Robert Kubica says he has not yet given up on the prospect of returning to Formula 1 at some point in the future and will...

    F1
  10. 13:38

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at Jerez

    FR 3.5
  11. Dominant Rowland wins FR3.5 finale at Jerez 13:37

    Dominant Rowland wins FR3.5 finale at Jerez

    Oliver Rowland claimed victory in the final race of the Formula Renault 3.5 season as he controlled proceedings throughout...

    FR 3.5
  12. 09:20

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  13. Márquez 'not on the limit' before crash 09:19

    Márquez 'not on the limit' before crash

    World Champion Marc Márquez says he was not riding on the limit when he crashed out of the lead in the Australian Grand Prix...

    MotoGP
  14. Rossi wins incident-packed race in Australia 06:50

    Rossi wins incident-packed race in Australia

    Valentino Rossi claimed his second win of the year in an incident-packed Australian Grand Prix after World Champion Marc...

    MotoGP
  15. Video of the Day: Pedrosa on Phillip Island 03:00

    Video of the Day: Pedrosa on Phillip Island

    Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa chose his fondest Phillip Island memory ahead of Sunday's race at the track.

    MotoGP
  16. Saturday 18 October 2014

  17. 13:52

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday at Jerez

    FR 3.5
  18. Stevens wins, Sainz Jr. clinches title 13:51

    Stevens wins, Sainz Jr. clinches title

    Carlos Sainz Jr. clinched the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 championship at the very first corner of the final round in Jerez...

    FR 3.5
  19. Ecclestone: Las Vegas targeting Formula 1 race 09:32

    Ecclestone: Las Vegas targeting Formula 1 race

    Bernie Ecclestone says a Formula 1 race could be held on the streets of Las Vegas in the future. Ecclestone has long seen...

    F1
  20. 07:54

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  21. Márquez flies to pole position in Australia 06:21

    Márquez flies to pole position in Australia

    MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island ahead of Ducati...

    MotoGP
  22. Video of the Day: Bottas let loose in FW18 05:07

    Video of the Day: Bottas let loose in FW18

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was given the opportunity to drive the FW18, Damon Hill's World Championship-winning car...

    F1
  23. Friday 17 October 2014

  24. Button will only stay in F1 with 'competitive' car 16:13

    Button will only stay in F1 with 'competitive' car

    Jenson Button could move to endurance racing if he fails to land a competitive Formula 1 seat for 2015. Fernando Alonso,...

    F1
  25. Andretti: Vettel can return Ferrari to the front 16:03

    Andretti: Vettel can return Ferrari to the front

    Former F1 World Champion Mario Andretti believes that Sebastian Vettel has what it takes to galvanise Ferrari and end the...

    F1
  26. Status GP takes over Caterham GP2 team 14:23

    Status GP takes over Caterham GP2 team

    Status Grand Prix has acquired the Caterham GP2 outfit from ex-F1 team boss Tony Fernandes. The squad will continue to...

    GP2
  27. Pirelli changes Brazil tyre nomination 12:15

    Pirelli changes Brazil tyre nomination

    Pirelli has altered its tyre nomination for next month's Brazilian Grand Prix, amid fears over safety. After initially...

    F1
  28. Fong, Nissany to test Sauber F1 car 11:36

    Fong, Nissany to test Sauber F1 car

    Adderly Fong and Roy Nissany will test a two-year-old Sauber Formula 1 car in Valencia next week. The team has set aside...

    F1
  29. Video: Räikkönen clinches 2007 title 11:32

    Video: Räikkönen clinches 2007 title

    Kimi Räikkönen celebrates his 35th birthday on Friday. To mark the occasion, look back at the moment the Finn clinched the 2...

    F1
  30. Räikkönen says he could continue into 2016 11:21

    Räikkönen says he could continue into 2016

    Former World Champion Kimi Räikkönen says he will "probably" remain at Ferrari for another two seasons, reaffirming that he i...

    F1
  31. 09:08

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  32. Lorenzo fastest at Phillip Island despite fall 09:07

    Lorenzo fastest at Phillip Island despite fall

    Jorge Lorenzo set the standard on the opening day of practice for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, despite...

    MotoGP
  33. Sainz Jr. will not change approach for finale 07:19

    Sainz Jr. will not change approach for finale

    Carlos Sainz Jr. has vowed to approach this weekend's Formula Renault 3.5 season finale at the Circuito de Jerez as he would...

    FR 3.5
  34. Video of the Day: Button's top four races to win 05:16

    Video of the Day: Button's top four races to win

    McLaren driver Jenson Button names the four races he would most like to win in a single season.

    F1
  35. Thursday 16 October 2014

  36. McLaren plans 'major' late-season upgrade 16:34

    McLaren plans 'major' late-season upgrade

    McLaren is planning to introduce another "major upgrade" package before the end of the season. Having applied a raft of...

    F1
  37. Video: Wolff drives FW36 at Silverstone 13:53

    Video: Wolff drives FW36 at Silverstone

    After some free practice running earlier in the season, Williams development driver Susie Wolff gained more experience at...

    F1
  38. Mercedes to bring back 'Stars & Cars' event 13:51

    Mercedes to bring back 'Stars & Cars' event

    Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to revive its 'Stars & Cars' event after a six-year break. The German manufacturer,...

    F1
  39. New Ferrari boss vows to take risks 11:20

    New Ferrari boss vows to take risks

    Ferrari's new Chairman, Sergio Marchionne, has vowed to take risks to return to the front of the F1 grid. Marchionne, the...

    F1
  40. Ricciardo to demo Formula 1 car in Austin 10:38

    Ricciardo to demo Formula 1 car in Austin

    Daniel Ricciardo will give a Formula 1 demonstration in Austin ahead of the United States Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver...

    F1
  41. Häkkinen: Honda success will take time 10:24

    Häkkinen: Honda success will take time

    Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen says it would be a "small miracle" if former team McLaren found itself at...

    F1
  42. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Russia 07:23

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Russia

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net is this season running a feature series entitled Story behind...

    F1
  43. Video of the Day: Zanardi in 'Adrenalin' film 05:04

    Video of the Day: Zanardi in 'Adrenalin' film

    Alex Zanardi, a two-time CART Champion and ex-Formula 1 driver, features in the new 'Adrenalin - The BMW Touring Car Story'...

    Misc
  44. Di Montezemolo: Alonso leaving Ferrari 00:17

    Di Montezemolo: Alonso leaving Ferrari

    Fernando Alonso is to leave Ferrari at the end of the current season after five campaigns on board, Luca di Montezemolo, who...

    F1
  45. Wednesday 15 October 2014

  46. 16:14

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
more news