Power & Dixon Celebrate In California
Castroneves didn’t blame his team owner by making the mistake that brought him into the pits when it was closed but he did think the scenario was quite unusual.
“I think it was a little bit of confusion there,” Castroneves said. “I asked again to pit. They ended up calling me yes. When I noticed I was the only one pitting, we got to go back again.
“It was fine. That was just a blip on the radar. It wasn’t an issue at all for the race. I was able to go back right away on the restart.
“We are putting ourselves in an opportunity to do that. I guess wasn’t meant to be. Last time we won with Sam, it was a big battle between us and Ganassi as well. It wasn’t meant to be. We trying to cover all the issues that every season we are in this scenario. Three seasons in a row. One season with Ryan Briscoe. The guy led most laps, did everything he could. For the first time ever, there was no yellow flags in Homestead.
“Then came Will.
“Now it’s my turn.
“The only thing I can say, we can only build ourselves stronger and come back next year. We can’t keep crying about it and question ourselves why.”
Power’s victory in the race was impressive and the driver from Australia hopes he has proven a point that he can race on the ovals. He credits his fearless determination to a comment last year’s race winner, Ed Carpenter, said that Power failing in the final race of last season was “expected.”
“This was very satisfying,” Power said. “I was so determined to win. I went backwards, forwards, backwards, forwards, but eventually went forwards to win it. For what happened last year, I had this race in my mind all year; I had the ovals especially in mind, to do a very good, solid job. That’s exactly what happened. It’s probably my best win ever, that’s for sure.
“The incentive? The incentive was Ed Carpenter said that Will Power did exactly what everyone expected him to do at the last race last year. I thought that was just such motivation for me to beat him and win at this track and just be good at ovals. I went about it. I thought I’m going to beat Ed. Ed, I really respect him. A very good, fast, clean oval racer. Always good to race. I don’t dislike him, but I told him, I said, ‘Man, your comment last year gave me a lot of motivation.’ It’s true.
“So, yes, that’s right. I like Ed. He’s very good. He’s quick. But that comment definitely got to me in a good way.”
Dixon was the victor of a race that featured 28 lead changes among 11 drivers with Power winning the race at an averaged speed of 154.867 mph. He defeated Carpenter by 1.4883 seconds but only nine of the 25 cars that started the race were running at the end.
That was extremely reminiscent of the old days of IndyCar racing when 500-mile races were a grind — an endurance battle that tested both the driver and the car.
This was a race that came with a high toll with seven caution periods for 55 laps. The most serious incident was a major crash in turn two on lap 110 involving Justin Wilson, Oriol Servia, Tristan Vautier, Simona de Silvestro, James Jakes and Josef Newgarden brought the action to a halt. It looked like Wilson’s car may have hit one of the seams in the asphalt and that sent Wilson’s car sliding up the track into the wall triggering the massive crash. Servia attempted to go high to avoid the carnage before Newgarden’s car slammed into him.
Wilson was awake and alert and transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for further observation that determined he has non-operable pelvic fractures and a small pulmonary contusion. He will be kept overnight at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.