The Latest: Dixon wins 2nd IndyCar race in a row at Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The Latest on IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway (all times local):
Scott Dixon won his second consecutive IndyCar Series race to quickly break a tie for the third-most career wins in open-wheel racing.
Dixon led 119 of 248 laps at Texas on Saturday night for his 43rd career victory. A week ago at Detroit, he won to match Michael Andretti’s 42 wins. Dixon trails only A.J. Foyt’s 67 wins and Mario Andretti’s 52.
Before separate late incidents involving Will Power and Ed Carpenter, the top two finishers at the Indianapolis 500, Dixon was close to lapping the field.
IndyCar said Power and Carpenter both were being penalized for avoidable contact.
It is Dixon’s third win at the 1 1/2-mile Texas oval.
Indianapolis 500 winner and series points lead Will Power won’t repeat in Texas.
Power, who won at Texas last year, was running in the top 10 on lap 205 of 248 when he made contact with rookie Zachary Claman De Melo.
Claman De Melo was high on the outside coming out of Turn 4 when Power slid up heading toward the frontstretch.
Power was clearly angry when he got out of his cockpit. Claman De Melo said he felt like he had run a good race and had gained the spot to pass.
The second caution at Texas came out when the cars driven by Ed Carpenter and rookie Robert Wickens made contact on the 173rd of 248 laps Saturday night.
Heading off the backstretch into Turn 3 the two were side-by-side low on the track when they made contact as Wickens tried to pass on the inside. The contact sent both cars sliding up the track and destroyed them.
IndyCar said Carpenter would be penalized for avoidable contact.
Wickens had led 31 laps in the race. Carpenter, the Indianapolis 500 polesitter who finished second there, was racing for the first time since then because he drives only the ovals for the team he owns. But Carpenter was never a factor up front at Texas, where he won in 2014.
A tough night for A.J. Foyt’s IndyCar team in his home state.
The No. 4 car driven by rookie Matheus Leist caught fire seven laps into the race Texas on Saturday night. About 20 laps later, something broke in the rear suspension of the No. 14 driven by Tony Kanaan.
Kanaan made contact with the outer wall, but said on the radio that something broke before that.
So the winless streaks will extend for Foyt and Kanaan, the 2004 series champion in his first season on Foyt’s team.
Texas was Kanaan’s 59th race since the last of his 17 victories in the 2014 season finale. Foyt hasn’t had a driver in Victory Lane since 2013.
IndyCar rookie driver Matheus Leist pulled his No. 4 car to the apron and quickly jumped out of the cockpit as fire overtook the car only seven laps into Saturday night’s race at Texas.
Leist was coming off the backstretch when he slowed and moved down on the track. Flames were visible soon after that. As the car rolled to a stop, Leist jumped out of the car that was engulfed by time safety teams got there.
The 19-year-old driver was cleared by medical officials and was OK.
There was no apparent contact with any other cars before the fire.
“Too Tall” for IndyCar?
When second-year IndyCar driver Ed Jones was introduced before Saturday night’s race in Texas, a Dallas Cowboys legend with the same name walked out on the stage instead.
The driver followed soon after that.
Ed “Too Tall” Jones was a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end and part of the Cowboys’ 1977 Super Bowl championship during his NFL career (1974-78, 1980-89). He was a professional boxer between his Cowboys stints, going 6-0 with five knockouts as a heavyweight.
The 6-foot-9 Jones, the tallest player in the NFL during his time, grew up in Tennessee as a NASCAR and boxing fan like his father. This is his first IndyCar race, though he has done the NASCAR driving school at TMS in the past and got up to 160 mph.
“Like most men, I have a thing for speed,” he said. “Unfortunately for me, when I was old enough to afford one of those muscle cars, I was too tall.”
Ed “Too Fast” Jones was IndyCar’s top rookie last season. When he was a young racer growing up in Dubai and his parents were working to set up a website, “Too Tall” would always pop up on their searches.
Some American drivers he raced against in Europe started calling him “Too Tall.” Jones didn’t know the reference then, and they told him to figure it out.
Now the two Joneses have met.
Team Penske will start in the top three spots for the IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The last time Penske swept the top three qualifying positions for a race was the 2017 season finale at Sonoma Raceway, when the team also went on to finish 1-2-3 in the race.
Defending IndyCar Series season champ Josef Newgarden is on the pole at Texas, with Simon Pagenaud also starting on the front row Saturday night. Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power, who won at Texas last year, starts third.
At Sonoma last September, Pagenaud won. Newgarden was second and Power third.
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