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 15 September 2014

  2. Redding to ride Marc VDS Honda in 2015 10:32

    Redding to ride Marc VDS Honda in 2015

    Marc VDS will run Scott Redding on a Factory Honda in MotoGP in 2015, when it steps up from Moto2. Redding had been...

    MotoGP
  3. Prodromou makes return to McLaren 10:04

    Prodromou makes return to McLaren

    Peter Prodromou has officially made his return to McLaren, taking on the role of Chief Engineer. Prodromou, who...

    F1
  4. Video: Ericsson in Swedish F1 demo 09:40

    Video: Ericsson in Swedish F1 demo

    Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson returned to his native Sweden for the Orebro Race Day on the weekend. Watch as he wows the...

    F1
  5. 09:13

    Photos: Singapore Grand Prix preparations

    F1
  6. MotoGP announces software freeze 09:08

    MotoGP announces software freeze

    MotoGP has announced that manufacturers will not be permitted to develop their own software beyond June 2015, as the premier...

    MotoGP
  7. Ericsson: Brakes Caterham's main weakness 08:04

    Ericsson: Brakes Caterham's main weakness

    Marcus Ericsson says instability under braking is currently the primary problem facing Caterham as it bids to close the gap...

    F1
  8. Singapore memories: Räikkönen's bold pass 05:06

    Singapore memories: Räikkönen's bold pass

    Relive one of the finest overtakes from the short history of the Singapore Grand Prix, with then Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen...

    F1
  9. Sunday 14 September 2014

  10. 17:01

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Misano

    MotoGP
  11. Márquez happy despite Misano crash 16:58

    Márquez happy despite Misano crash

    Marc Márquez says he was happy to collect a point for 15th place, despite sliding out of contention for victory in the San...

    MotoGP
  12. 13:59

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at the Hungaroring

    FR 3.5
  13. Nato beats Merhi to victory in Hungary 13:58

    Nato beats Merhi to victory in Hungary

    Norman Nato profited from a strong start to claim victory in the final race of the Formula Renault 3.5 round at the...

    FR 3.5
  14. Rossi wins at Misano as Márquez crashes 13:51

    Rossi wins at Misano as Márquez crashes

    Valentino Rossi claimed a popular first victory of the season at Misano as World Champion Marc Márquez was only 15th after...

    MotoGP
  15. Hülkenberg: Force India desperate for fifth 09:14

    Hülkenberg: Force India desperate for fifth

    Nico Hülkenberg says Force India is "desperate" to finish in the top five of the Constructors' Championship as they bid to...

    F1
  16. I'm still in the title hunt, says Hamilton 06:02

    I'm still in the title hunt, says Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton is adamant that he remains in the hunt for this year's World Championship as he bids to close down the...

    F1
  17. Video of the Day: Beijing ePrix highlights 05:12

    Video of the Day: Beijing ePrix highlights

    Enjoy highlights of the first ever Formula E race on the streets of Beijing, won by Audi Sport Abt's Lucas di Grassi after a...

    Formula E
  18. Saturday 13 September 2014

  19. 16:30

    Latest Formula E photos: Beijing ePrix

    Formula E
  20. Prost handed grid penalty for Heidfeld clash 16:28

    Prost handed grid penalty for Heidfeld clash

    Nicolas Prost has been handed a 10-place grid penalty for the next round of the Formula E Championship after he was deemed...

    Formula E
  21. Rosberg 'determined' to hold on to lead 15:30

    Rosberg 'determined' to hold on to lead

    Championship leader Nico Rosberg says he is determined to hold on to his advantage in the title race as the Formula 1 season...

    F1
  22. 14:01

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Misano

    MotoGP
  23. Lorenzo secures first pole of 2014 at Misano 14:00

    Lorenzo secures first pole of 2014 at Misano

    Jorge Lorenzo claimed his first pole position of the season during a tightly contested qualifying session for the San Marino...

    MotoGP
  24. 13:52

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday at the Hungaroring

    FR 3.5
  25. Merhi takes dominant victory at wet Hungaroring 13:51

    Merhi takes dominant victory at wet Hungaroring

    Roberto Merhi claimed a dominant Formula Renault 3.5 victory in the first race of the weekend at a wet Hungaroring. Merhi...

    FR 3.5
  26. Heidfeld 'not mad' with Prost despite Beijing crash 12:00

    Heidfeld 'not mad' with Prost despite Beijing crash

    Nick Heidfeld says he is 'not mad' at Formula E rival Nicolas Prost despite the pair colliding while fighting for victory...

    Formula E
  27. Patience key to Singapore success – Ricciardo 12:00

    Patience key to Singapore success – Ricciardo

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo believes that having patience in Singapore is key due to the manner in which the Marina Bay...

    F1
  28. Video: Dramatic end to Formula E opener 10:31

    Video: Dramatic end to Formula E opener

    Nicolas Prost sends Nick Heidfeld into a violent collision with the fence after the duo make contact while battling for the...

    Formula E
  29. Di Grassi wins first ePrix after final corner crash 10:10

    Di Grassi wins first ePrix after final corner crash

    Lucas di Grassi claimed victory after an incredible final lap in the first ever ePrix around the streets of Beijing, with...

    Formula E
  30. Iannone heads Dovizioso in Misano practice 09:47

    Iannone heads Dovizioso in Misano practice

    Andrea Iannone set the fastest time during the third practice session for the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano. Iannone...

    MotoGP
  31. Pat Symonds on the Williams revival 09:30

    Pat Symonds on the Williams revival

    Under the technical guidance of Pat Symonds, Williams has returned to the sharp-end of the grid this season. GPUpdate.net...

    F1
  32. FIA to review Super Licence qualifications 07:00

    FIA to review Super Licence qualifications

    The FIA is to review the process by which a driver qualifies for a Super Licence after questions were raised in the wake of...

    F1
  33. Video of the Day: Ricciardo vs Kvyat on two wheels 05:00

    Video of the Day: Ricciardo vs Kvyat on two wheels

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat go head-to-head on two wheels.

    F1
  34. Friday 12 September 2014

  35. 17:18

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Misano

    MotoGP
  36. Palmer optimistic over 2015 F1 chances 15:52

    Palmer optimistic over 2015 F1 chances

    GP2 championship leader Jolyon Palmer says he is "optimistic" that he will be on the Formula 1 grid in 2015. Palmer, 23,...

    F1
  37. Grosjean sure of improved Lotus showing 15:39

    Grosjean sure of improved Lotus showing

    Romain Grosjean is sure that Lotus will fare better at next weekend's Singapore Grand Prix after the team endured a trying...

    F1
  38. Pic completes Formula E line-up 15:13

    Pic completes Formula E line-up

    Andretti Formula E has confirmed that Lotus reserve driver Charles Pic will race for them at Saturday's inaugural ePrix in...

    Formula E
  39. Dovizioso recovers from crash to set pace 13:58

    Dovizioso recovers from crash to set pace

    Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest time for Ducati in wet conditions during second practice for the San Marino Grand Prix at...

    MotoGP
  40. Aprilia returns to MotoGP with Gresini 12:20

    Aprilia returns to MotoGP with Gresini

    Aprilia will return to MotoGP as a factory team next season, with Gresini running its bikes for four years. Aprilia was...

    MotoGP
  41. FIA confirms 20-race 2015 F1 calendar 11:43

    FIA confirms 20-race 2015 F1 calendar

    The FIA has officially confirmed a 20-race calendar for the 2015 Formula 1 season. Some minor changes have been made from...

    F1
  42. Wolff: Clarification needed over radio limits 11:27

    Wolff: Clarification needed over radio limits

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says teams need "further clarification" over Formula 1's new radio restrictions. From the...

    F1
  43. Sauber hopes upgrades lead to first points 10:40

    Sauber hopes upgrades lead to first points

    Sauber is hopeful that upgrades for the Singapore Grand Prix will provide its first points of the season. Adrian Sutil...

    F1
  44. Hernández tops incident-packed first practice 10:04

    Hernández tops incident-packed first practice

    Pramac's Yonny Hernández set the pace in a wet and drama-filled opening practice session for the San Marino Grand Prix at...

    MotoGP
more news