Ed Carpenter leads halfway in Firestone 600 IndyCar race at Texas, only to yield back to Will Power on race off pit road

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Ed Carpenter was leading at the halfway point of Saturday night’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, only to yield a few laps later to early race leader Will Power

Carpenter was at the front of the pack on Lap 124 of the 248-lap event. Scott Dixon was running second, followed by early race leader Will Power in third, Simon Pagenaud in fourth and Tony Kanaan in fifth.

Sixth through 10th were Juan Pablo Montoya, Mikhail Aleshin, Josef Newgarden, Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves.

The race was put under its second caution period on Lap 121 after Justin Wilson and Sebastien Bourdais made contact, putting both cars into the wall.

Based upon TV replays, it appeared Wilson was low on the apron, began spinning and slid up the racetrack into Bourdais.

“I got a good run on Sebastien coming down the back straight, he tried to block it and I went down and dove underneath, but he kept coming and forced me below the white line on turning,” Wilson said. “I thought he was going to leave me alone, but he only left half a lane and I had two wheels on the apron and obviously just lost control. It’s just really disappointing.”

Bourdais wasn’t sure whether he or Wilson were at fault in the incident.

“I got a bit checked up by my teammate and then Justin got a run after that,” Bourdais said. “I thought I’d hug the inside to protect the position to Justin. All of a sudden, I heard, looking inside, we were in Turn 3 and Justin ended up on the apron and hit the banking, spun out and got me on the way up.

“Honestly, I don’t know if it’s a racing incident, his fault or my fault. If it’s my fault, I apologize.”

Several teams waited to pit, with Carpenter, Power and others coming in on Lap 126. Power beat Carpenter off pit road to regain the lead on Lap 127.

On Lap 135, Hunter-Reay came into the pit and shut his car down, apparently due to some type of motor or mechanical problem.

Marco Andretti, who brought out the first caution, will be scored last on the 22-car finishing grid, dropping out of the race just three laps in after the motor on his car expired.

Saturday’s race marked the first event under new rules eliminating double-file restarts, which IndyCar officials announced Friday.

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Here’s what drivers said after Sunday’s INDYCAR race was postponed until Monday

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Here’s what several drenched drivers had to say after Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was postponed until Monday morning (11:30 a.m. ET, LIVE on NBCSN):

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama winner, 2018 pole winner): “It’s tough because we have so many people that come out here to watch us. We want to put on a good race. We want to put on a show. So calling the race, running around behind the pace car not running, it’s tough, it’s tough to do that. But I think it was the right thing in the end. When we started the race, the conditions were OK. You could run at that level of rain. Then, it intensified right before that first caution. I think when the caution came out, it got to a point where it was just too much. There was too much puddling and pooling of water on every straightaway. Then the rivers started flowing, high-speed compressions in Turns 1 and 2, fast corner, 12 and 13, fast corner where the river starts to form. Just tough. I mean, look, we love racing in the rain. It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to run in the rain, not being able to do that. It’s that this type of track with this water level was too much to race today. We’ve run here in the rain before, but it intensified to the point where you’re starting to get in a situation where it’s going to take it out of the drivers’ hands. What happened with Will (Power), I don’t think is a driver error. I don’t know how anyone is going to drive hydroplaning on the front straightaway. I think you would have had that for the rest of the track, too. A tough situation. Thanks for the fans that came out and supported us. Hopefully we’ll get some people back tomorrow and we’ll get the show in and put on a great event.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet):
“Tough day so far. We had some problems with our radio and fuel alarm, but otherwise the car was alright. It was just too dangerous out there, we couldn’t see anything, so I think they made the right call. Hopefully we’ll have a good race tomorrow.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s just a real shame for everyone on the Verizon Chevy team. The car was good and we were doing our best out there, but it was really hard to see anything in front of me. The conditions were just so bad. As soon as I got to the frontstraight, the car just came around, and I tried to keep it off the wall, but it was hydroplaning and there was nothing I could do. I feel bad for the team and for the fans in this weather. Just too bad. Hopefully our luck can turn around when we get to Indianapolis.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Very difficult day for us. In the race we were 13th at the time and we had some electrical issues, so that caused us to pit and we lost a lap. Not the ideal situation, but we don’t give up. There’s still a race tomorrow and we’re going to go for the most points. Anything can happen.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): “It was a tough beginning, but when we kind of got going it was OK and kind of fun to challenge for a while, but visibility was a major issue today, no doubt. I’m glad that the series postponed it. I would have like to get it in today, but that’s life. We will go racing tomorrow.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 Kerauno / MilitaryToMotorsports.com Honda, Verizon IndyCar Series points leader): “I think definitely the right decision was made to red flag the race. It’s a very difficult position for everyone to be in. It’s never the result that you want, but safety is obviously a priority. I think everyone did a good job considering the conditions of looking out for each other. Not being able to see is not doing anybody any good. It is hard for everyone, but glad that we’re all in one piece and try again later.

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “As you could see on TV, if you couldn’t see the car, it was probably three times worse in the cockpit on the main straight or any straight. You had to completely trust the guys that they were accelerating. Never the less, I made good progress on the short stint and I made up a few positions.  The car was working well, but also was aquaplaning a lot, too, so I have to respect INDYCAR’s decision for everyone’s safety. Now we really need to concentrate on having a good car for tomorrow. I’m sorry for the fans that sat in rain all day, but thank them for their support.”

RENE BINDER (No. 32 Binderholz tiptop timber Chevrolet): “It was a short day. In the beginning the conditions were not that good, but afterwards the conditions started to improve. The race was stopped, then restarted, and I think the conditions were not too bad at that point. Unfortunately, it was red flagged again and then cancelled for the day. It would have been nice to get halfway, but we will come back and try again tomorrow.”