MADISON, Ill. – The Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Gateway Motorsports Park for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline got off to a rough start with a pair of bizarre incidents, after what looked to be an exciting kickoff to the race.
Following a pre-race fireworks display and with a near capacity crowd in the frontstraight grandstands, the start of the race was delayed a couple laps, and then it was delayed further when Tony Kanaan spun on a slick track at Turn 2, and backed into the wall. He pitted for repairs to the rear wheel guard assembly. Sebastian Saavedra also pitted before the start.
Once the race actually did get going it got worse, quickly.
Pole sitter Will Power spun in Turn 2, having lost the lead to teammate Josef Newgarden, with then apparent contact between Takuma Sato and Ed Carpenter sending them spinning into the wall in the aftermath, with Carpenter also launching up in the air, backwards, over Power’s car after spinning into him.
Fortunately after the chaotic ride both Power and Carpenter were checked, cleared and released from the infield medical center. But for Power, who entered the weekend 42 points down to championship leader Josef Newgarden, it’s all but ended his title hopes.
Newgarden took the lead from the Lap 18 restart.