Video: Will Power spins, sets off crash early in IndyCar race at Gateway
Will Power’s hopes of contending for a second Verizon IndyCar Series championship may have come to an end in the Turn 2 wall on the first lap of Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Just a few laps after Tony Kanaan lost control of his Honda and backed it into the Turn 2 wall on the pace lap, once the race officially started, Power’s Chevrolet did the same thing.
Power started on the pole and led the field down the long frontstretch into the tight Turn 1. Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden passed him out of Turn 2 and suddenly, Power’s car spun around and hit the wall. Ed Carpenter’s Chevrolet ran into Takuma Sato’s slowing car and that launched it into the air on top of Power’s disabled car.
All three drivers were checked, cleared and released from the infield care center without any injuries.
“It wasn’t a fun ride,” Power said. “Josef went around the outside and got some of his dirty air and I just lost it. Unfortunate. Very frustrating. Unbelievably frustrating.
“It was just slippery. Super slippery. I wish I had done a few more burnouts to get more in the rears. The fronts were very slippery too. Josef just took my air going around on the outside. I just tried to get back to power and got some dirty air. It just went. Unfortunate.”
Power entered the race fifth in points but began the weekend 42 points out of the lead. By winning the pole Power earned one point for the championship but will finish the race 20th out of 21 cars in the field.
“There is no excuse,” Carpenter said. “This year did not go well. I don’t know what else to say – 2018 can come here fast enough. It’s really disheartening right now.”
Carpenter is an owner/driver and competes on the oval tracks with Spencer Pigot on the street and road courses. This is the final oval race of the season and Carpenter’s last race behind the wheel in 2018.
To make matters worse, the frontstretch grandstand at Gateway Motorsports Park was “sold out” in IndyCar’s first race at this venue since August 10, 2003.
“It is slick obviously for Tony (Kanaan) to crash under yellow,” Carpenter continued. “We got a pretty good start. Was rolling under Sato. I saw Will get loose in front of Sato. I was under Sato, he was sliding around. I finally got loose just like those guys were. I corrected and got under Sato and once I made contact with him, it sent me around.
“If I had a little more space, I would have saved it and kept going.
“I’m just super disappointed. I had such a chance to get a good result tonight in front of tons of family and friends from Indianapolis here. Great crowd. Just disappointed. Going to be a long off season to get this taste out of my mouth.”
Sato said Power started to wiggle and he tried to go through it.
“Then Ed had a problem and he hit me and that sent him away over the top into Ed,” Sato said.