Drive Charlie Kimball poses with the pole aware in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway, Friday, June 9, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.
It marked his second win of the season and second career win at Texas Motor Speedway. The first 20,000 fans arriving for Saturday night's race will get a Graham Rahal bobblehead doll.
But the end of the race didn't tell the story.
Driving his Team Penske Chevrolet, Power led for a race-high 180 laps and made the decisive pass for the lead on Lap 243 when he edged in front of the championship series leader, Scott Dixon of New Zealand. It seemed to take a couple of laps just to get the tires to come in and start working but it was a solid run. He spun, collecting Dixon in the process. "All the family is here, it just feels awesome". He had a strong vehicle, but was blamed for causing a nine-car pileup with less than 100 laps to go. Vautier would get a run to the outside of the leader entering Turn 1 and run side-by-side for laps at a time.
"It really doesn't matter where you qualify here, but I think we've got a decent set-up to go after it tomorrow in the NTT Data Honda". We just wanted a good, solid starting spot for the race. "It is what it is".
Ryan Hunter-Reay, left, stands by an emergency worker, right, and his vehicle after being involved into a multicar accident going into Turn 3 during an IndyCar auto race at Texas Motor Speedway, Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.
A fair number of competitors were upset with Kanaan, blaming him for causing the big Lap 152 crash.
"The Big One" involved nine cars at once after James Hinchcliffe got pinched in between Tony Kanaan and Mikhail Aleshin with nowhere to go. Kanaan had to serve a stop-and-hold penalty of 20 seconds once racing resumed, and although that put him two laps down, he salvaged second place by the end. Hinchcliffe was penalized, forcing him to come through pit road, putting him down a lap.
"It's definitely been an interesting season", Dixon said.
That isn't any solace to the drivers also collected in the mess.
The ground: Last year's race saw many cars run incredibly low; James Hinchcliffe wound up being penalized (and knocked out of slim championship contention) for his vehicle being so low that it dragged the bottom around the track.
Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 victor who was the runner-up to Sato this year, was running third behind Team Penske teammates Power and Pagenaud when his front right tire gave and his auto veered into the wall coming out of the second turn on lap 91. Although both their chances to win were vanquished as they were several laps down, it was still a chance to pick up key points with most of the field out.
Meanwhile initial pole sitter Charlie Kimball's race ended in misery after the first round of pit-stops, with the Chip Ganassi racer suffering a mechanical issue and joining the long list of retirements. He led 26 laps, but that's all he had to show on his first career pole. Castroneves went hard into the wall and eventually came to rest on the inside of the third turn. He walked off under his own power, but would have preferred to snap what has now become a 52-race winless drought. Neither Castroneves nor Sato suffered much auto damage and were able to make repairs without losing a lap. He had the unfortunate incident in the pits when Hinchcliffe lost control, but battled his way back into the top-five before his accident. Six cars? Plus in our type of cars, we can't do that.