IndyCar race at Texas red-flagged after big crash

Graham Rahal walks on pit road near his vehicle during an IndyCar auto race practice session at Texas Motor Speedway, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Team owner Mario Andretti, driving, pulls out of pit road in a two seater as he gives Dallas Mavericks' Yogi Ferrell, rear seat, a spin around the oval at Texas Motor Speedway, Friday June 9, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Will Power was up front all night Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Simon Pagenaud, of France, heads into the front stretch during the IndyCar auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Kiwi Scott Dixon, who had run in the top three most the race, was taken out by Indy 500 victor Takuma Sato with half a dozen laps remaining when he looked like he was a 50-50 chance of winning the race.

Power boosted his title push, claiming his second win of the season as he finished ahead of Brazil's Tony Kanaan.

Charlie Kimball streaked to the IndyCar Series pole at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday.

The Verizon IndyCar Series visits the ultra-fast Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, after competing last weekend at the ultra-tight Detroit Belle Isle Park street course.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Charlie Kimball has earned his first IndyCar Series pole with a two-lap average speed of 222.556 miles per hour at the repaved and reconfigured Texas Motor Speedway.

Power won the race having led 180 of the 248 laps, but there were a mere five cars finishing behind him on the lead lap due to several multi-car wrecks. The third driver out, Rahal posted an average of 220.954 miles per hour in his No. 15 Honda to knock Marco Andretti (220.318 mph) off the provisional pole.

When fellow owner Chip Ganassi heard about that, he told NBC Sports Network that the blame belonged not to his driver but to Hinchcliffe, who had been driving like "he was trying to get into a crash all night". "Got a penalty, paid a penalty, and we finished second".

The final caution came a lap later when Japan's Takuma Sato, driving the same vehicle he won the Indianapolis 500 in two weeks ago and pushing for another, got his left side slightly into the grass on the front stretch, with five laps to go. That sent him spinning and also took out Dixon.

"The track is very unique and it's quite tight and fiddly - apart from Turn 1 and the end of the back straight it's very wide and allows overtaking - the rest of the track is quite easy to defend", he said. "I could see Dixon was able to pass me at the start/finish line, so I was starting to think about what I was going to do there at the end".

At Texas Motor Speedway, where over the past 20 years IndyCar has had some of its fastest and most exciting finishes, drivers quickly worked in a second groove on the 1½-mile track that was repaved earlier this year. Chilton said it's pretty demanding as a driver dealing with the tight turnaround between races plus the diversity of tracks.

Vautier was inside when a sandwiched James Hinchcliffe pinballed off Tony Kanaan and teammate Mikhael Aleshin and turned into Vautier, sending Vautier hard into the outer wall.

Mikhail Aleshin's Schmidt Peterson Motorsport No. 7. He said Kanaan didn't drive intelligently or respectfully. Hildebrand, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Jones, Carlos Munoz and Ed Carpenter were all involved, with race officials red flagging the race to allow the track to be cleared. They did a great job - this track, back in the days, with the rain that we got two days ago we probably wouldn't even be racing here today, so great job that they changed the layout and actually I thought it was going to be different. Vehicle owner Dale Coyne went up to Kanaan's auto while it was lined up on pit road during the red flag, then leaned into the cockpit and said something.

All eight drivers were checked, cleared and released from the infield medical center. At around 22 seconds a lap, it would be approximately a seven-minute sprint to the checkered flag.

Two were competition yellows for mandatory tire changes that IndyCar added late because of some blistering issues with tires on the fresh pavement.

During stops on the ensuing caution, Sato got pinned into the wall during a pit road collision that damaged the front wing of his auto. He was flagged for avoidable contact, necessitating a drive-through pit road as his penalty.

Before the green flag came out again, polesitter Charlie Kimball's auto was pushed to the garage because of an oil leak and done.

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

Four-time TMS victor Helio Castroneves hit the wall in Turn 2 on Lap 91 when it appeared a tire went out.

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  • Julie Sanders