Videos: IndyCar veterans Will Power, Ed Carpenter take blame for crashes with rookies at Texas

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Usually, when a veteran driver is involved in a crash with a rookie, it’s the rookie’s fault. But in Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, there were two separate crashes, each involving a big-name Verizon IndyCar Series veteran and a rookie, and both were the veteran’s fault.

However, knowing they weren’t at fault didn’t help the spirits of rookies Robert Wickens or Zachary Claman De Melo.

The first came on lap 173 when Wickens and veteran oval ace Ed Carpenter were charging side by side down the backstretch. When both drivers made it into turn 3, Wickens’ Honda went low and Carpenter’s Chevrolet hit it. Both cars slid sideways simultaneously and backed hard into the wall.

Carpenter took responsibility for the incident.

“It was a mistake,” Carpenter said. “I knew Robbie (Wickens) was coming. I thought I could close the door, but it was a big mistake on my part. He was a lead-lap car. We were having a bad day — we just didn’t have it this weekend. We just could never get the balance right where it needed to be. I made it worse by making a mistake like that, so my apologies to him.

Wickens, Carpenter crash at Texas

“I know it doesn’t mean much now. I feel bad for those guys. I feel bad for my guys. The night certainly didn’t need to end like this. It’s a mistake on me, and I’ll have to come back and get ’em in Iowa.”

Wickens heard Carpenter’s apology, but that didn’t make up for the disappointment of getting taken out of a race that Wickens led for 31 laps.

“Ed made a mistake,” Wickens said. “I went to his inside. I don’t know if his spotter didn’t tell him I was there, but he just turned in and we had contact and went up into the wall. I mean, it sucks. We were so strong the whole night. Things were going so smoothly, we were getting the fuel mileage. I don’t know, I’m just frustrated.

“I mean when you’re driving around slower cars, they’re getting blue flags every time at start-finish — they’re getting blue flags and they ignore every single one of them. We shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place, but it just sucks. We had such a good car.

“I think (some cars were) being really desperate, trying to do whatever they can, I guess, to be racing. De Melo in front of me was being so dangerous and that’s how (Ed) Carpenter got by me.”

De Melo, Power crash at Texas

De Melo ended up in a crash with Will Power, the winner of the 102nd Indianapolis 500 and the defending winner at Texas. 

The two cars crashed on the front stretch when Power went high trying to pass De Melo and ended up pinning the rookie’s car into the outside wall.

Again, the veteran driver admitted the mistake rather than blaming the rookie.

“The guys in front of me were saving a lot of fuel and completely lifting to try and make it and someone went around on the outside,” Power said. “Unfortunately, the timing stand was talking to me at that exact moment, and I couldn’t hear my spotter call, ‘Outside,’ and there was someone outside at that point. 

Scott Dixon

“It’s just a bad situation, but something that happens at a track like this. It was not the guy on the outside’s fault. I didn’t know he was out there at that point. We were lifting so much trying to save fuel and he went outside me. It was just a bad deal, but we will move on to Road America.”

Prior to that, De Melo was having another impressive race for Dale Coyne Racing in the No. 19 Honda.

“I got a great run on the outside in clean air, I probably would have passed (Will) Power, as well. I don’t know if his spotter didn’t tell him I was there,” De Melo said. “Watching the replay, I was clearly there. It’s just one of those moments. 

“I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose. I feel bad for him and I feel bad for me and the team. It’s a bad day, but I think I showed my potential. It was a great run up until that point. To do what I did today, from second to last to get up to where we were, it was looking like a possible top-five finish, top three even. 

“After a disappointing weekend like this, I can’t wait to get back into the car again.”



By Bruce Martin

This post was originally published here via Google News