Will Power Ranks Amongst All-Time Winners Amid Mayhem in Texas

It wasn’t quite last man standing, but it was as near as it could get. As the Verizon IndyCar Series field dwindled behind him in various incidents, Will Power held on to win the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

With his 31st victory, Power joins the ranks of some of IndyCar’s biggest names, tied for ninth on the all-time wins list. The Australian driver is sharing the spot with Scotland’s Dario Franchitti as well as Canada’s own Paul Tracy. Power claims his second win of the season with his second win at Texas, which he considers to be his second home.

“It was very intense,” Powers says of the event. “I’m so stoked to win in my second home, where my wife is from, Texas. All the family is here, it just feels awesome.”

Coming up second was Tony Kanaan, after a race plagued by incidents and penalties. While the comeback podium was impressive, James Hinchcliffe was less enthused after being involved in an incident with Kanaan that ended the day for himself and teammate Mikhail Aleshin and brought out the red flag.

“I was not expecting him to do that; Tony has more experience in this kind of pack racing than anybody,” the Canadian driver explained, frustrated by the incident that saw him sandwiched between Kanaan and Aleshin with nowhere to go. “It turned into way more of a pack race than we’ve had here in a long time, which unfortunately, leads to situations like this.”

After the race, Kanaan was apologetic.

“It was a tough night, just very intense from the first to the last lap. I’m going to apologize [to Hinchcliffe],” the Brazilian driver stated. Despite the issues, he still had a run to be proud of. “We paid the price for my mistake. We got a penalty, paid the penalty, and we were able to finish second. I’m proud of the team for sticking with me and fighting our way back up front.”

Among those caught up in the intensities of the Texas Motor Speedway was 2017 Indianapolis 500 Champion Takuma Sato. In the final laps, Sato ran his Andretti Honda low in an attempt to take the dominant bottom line underneath Power and Scott Dixon going into Turn 1. In doing so, his tires clipped the infield grass, sending his car out of control and into the side of Dixon, causing the race to end under caution. Dixon and Sato finished 9th and 10th despite the accident, but left Texas with the frustration of knowing they could have claimed the victory.

“It was an unfortunate situation,” Sato explained. “I had a car in front of me and a car to my right, I got two tired in the grass, bottomed out and there was nowhere for me to go from that. We just ran out of track… It was an exciting race for sure, and I am disappointed it ended the way it did.”

The race proved a positive one for Tristan Vautier, serving as a substitute for the injured Sebastian Bourdais and the not-cleared-to-race Esteban Gutierrez. Although he finished 16th after being caught up in the pileup which saw his team owner Dale Coyne confront Kanaan under red, Vautier led 15 laps in an impressive run.  

“I think I showed everything I could tonight,” Vautier said, making the best of this opportunity. Of the accident, he said “Sometimes you can’t do anything about it.”

Verizon IndyCar Series action returns on June 25th for the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America. Fans can tune in to the race at 12:30pm ET on NBCSN.      

Rainguard Water Sealers 600 Top 10:

1. (9) Will Power, Chevrolet, 248, Running

2. (4) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 248, Running

3. (12) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 248, Running

4. (11) Graham Rahal, Honda, 248, Running

5. (20) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 248, Running

6. (15) Marco Andretti, Honda, 248, Running

7. (21) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 247, Running

8. (6) Max Chilton, Honda, 245, Running

9. (2) Scott Dixon, Honda, 243, Contact

10. (8) Takuma Sato, Honda, 243, Contact

Verizon IndyCar Series Top 10 Points After Texas:

1. Scott Dixon (326)

2. Simon Pagenaud (313)

3. Takuma Sato (312)

4. Helio Castroneves (305)

5. Will Power (286)

6. Graham Rahal (283)

7. Josef Newgarden (277)

8. Tony Kanaan (264)

9. Alexander Rossi (254)

10. James Hinchcliffe (232)

Driver quotes retrieved from Verizon IndyCar Series press releases.