Bits and pieces on the Firestone 550


– Chevrolet locks out Top 5: The engine manufacturer war between Chevrolet and Honda has seen each side deliver some pretty big blows lately. At the Indy 500, the Bowtie claimed victory and the top four spots overall. Then last weekend, Honda went into Chevy’s backyard and swept both wins from the doubleheader in Detroit, grabbing all but one of six possible podium positions over the event.

Last night at Texas Motor Speedway, the Chevy camp reigned supreme with a lockout of the Top 5 positions – winner and new IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Helio Castroneves (pictured), runner-up Ryan Hunter-Reay, third-place Tony Kanaan, fourth-place Ed Carpenter, and fifth-place Marco Andretti.

When extended to the Top 10, Chevy came up with eight positions in that bracket, adding Will Power in seventh, James Hinchcliffe in ninth, and E.J. Viso in tenth.

– That’s no bull…Wait, it is: Kanaan continues to earn accolades for his victory in last month’s Indianapolis 500, but the one he received on Saturday may be the most unique of all: A bull.

Already a co-owner of two bulls (Downforce and Brazilian Bully) in partnership with a group that includes former INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard, Kanaan has now received ownership of “TK500,” who will compete in the Professional Bull Riders’ top division, the Built Ford Tough Series.

“All of my dreams are coming true,” said Kanaan. “I win the Indy 500 this year and now I have my own bull named after me.  It doesn’t get much better than this!”

According to the PBR’s official website, “TK500” – formerly known as “Mud Wasp” – has only been ridden successfully four times over three years in the Built Ford Tough Series. Seems like he’s a tough customer on the PBR circuit, just like Kanaan is on the race track.

– Repeat denied for Justin Wilson: Defending Texas champ Justin Wilson started 20th on the grid last night, but was able to charge through the field in the first half of the race, eventually rising as high as second at the halfway point.

But a second potential upset in Fort Worth faded away in the middle stages, as Wilson found himself going backwards through the field with worn Firestones. He went multiple laps down, and eventually finished 15th, two laps off the pace.

“That second to last stint cost us a good finish tonight,” said Wilson. “It’s disappointing because the car was running in the top five up to that point, and we had a very good chance at repeating as race winners. The team did an incredible job giving me a really competitive race car tonight.”