2012 Firestone 550
- 3.1 qualifying
- 3.2 race 3.2.1 guiding portions
- 3.2.2 yellow phase
- 4.1 Drivers' Championship
- 4.2 Manufacturers' Championship
After the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Will Power led the Drivers' Championship with 26 points ahead of Scott Dixon with 55 points ahead of Helio Castroneves. At the engine manufacturers Chevrolet led with 6 points ahead of Honda and with 24 points ahead of Lotus.
For the first time after the fatal accident of Dan Wheldon at the season finale in 2011 on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the IndyCar Series returned to an intermediate oval. The superelevation at Texas Motor Speedway was higher than on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with 20 ° with 24 °. In addition, were attached to the track like in Las Vegas fencing with internally mounted post. Such fencing had been partly responsible for the fatal injuries Wheldons. This made before the race for criticism. For security reasons, the output of the Dallara DW12 was reduced for this race. According to Ryan Briscoe were to be met so that a round of problems is not more mobile with full speed and pack racing is reduced.
Katherine Legge returned to this race as scheduled in her cockpit at Dragon Racing back and replaced Sebastien Bourdais from. Legge and Bourdais shared the cockpit with the harrow oval courses and Bourdais denied the other races.
With Castroneves (twice), Tony Kanaan, Dixon, Briscoe, Dario Franchitti and Power (once each ) were six former winners of this race. Castroneves was also a one-time winner of the Chevy 500, an IndyCar race, which was also held at the Texas Motor Speedway.
The training for Firestone 550 was postponed by 75 minutes after the back, as it had been raining and the road was not yet dry. The training lasted 75 minutes. Franchitti posted the fastest time ahead of his teammate Dixon and Josef Newgarden. There were three interruptions to the training session. Twice for track inspections, once after a technical defect in the vehicle by Mike Conway.
The starting grid for Firestone 550 was determined by a qualifying individual time trial mode. Each pilot was driving behind the other two flying laps and total time was crucial for the result.
Alex Tagliani scored the pole position. It was his first pole position since last year's IndyCar race at this track. The second to fourth went to the Ganassi drivers Franchitti, Graham Rahal and Dixon. Power was fifth best pilot with Chevrolet engine, the first four positions went to all vehicles with Honda engine.
Simona de Silvestro reached the only Lotus -pilot 23 starting place and struck JR Hildebrand, who made a mistake in his Qualifyingversuch. Race Director Beaux Barfield has already announced before the weekend in relation to Lotus that any driver who can not drive within the 105- percent rule in the race, will be taken with the black flag of the race.
Newgarden did not return any time due to engine problems.
Following the qualifying Conway, Newgarden and de Silvestro were set back due to premature engine change at ten positions.
In the final training session, which took place directly after qualifying at this event, Dixon set the fastest lap time in front of Conway and Tagliani. Takuma Satō, who finished fourth, suffered at the end of the training an engine failure, which led to the termination of the session. Satō was therefore also offset by ten grid positions to the rear.
Before the start of the race the vehicles was added again to slightly increase the output on again before remote Gurney Flap.
When the driver went into the formation lap, were de Silvestro and Rubens Barrichello not one of the party. De Silvestris bolide had a problem with the fuel pump, Barrichello's car did not start.
Tagliani defended the lead at the start and kept this for the first twenty rounds. Then Dixon took the lead and kept it for nearly 100 laps in a row. For Dixon's teammate Franchitti ran it, however not as good as he had handling problems. First, he graduated with an unscheduled stop green on lap 20. 20 laps later he came a second time to the box to make change the stabilizer at the rear. By the stops he fell back several rounds. For his teammate Charlie Kimball finished the race, however, was already in the 30th round as he hit the wall and the first caution period triggered.
The following pit stops came in the pit lane to a collision between Simon Pagenaud and Justin Wilson. Both drivers drove on. Pagenaud was given a drive-through penalty and dropped a round. In the 64th round, the next yellow flag was thrown: Satō lost on the backstretch control of his vehicle and struck inside a. It was Sato's sixth loss in the seventh race of the season. In the ensuing caution period Ryan Hunter -Reay gave up with technical problems. Some laps later Oriol Servia finished the race also with a technical problem in the pits.
The next caution period triggered EJ Viso, who rolled out on the track with technical problems. The following pit stops came in the box to a collision between Newgarden and Castroneves. Newgarden was given a drive-through penalty for this offense. Both drivers drove on.
Dixon, who was located in the meantime, more than half the total distance in the lead, was overtaken in the 171 round of Power. Dixon had to contend with the fact that the balance of the vehicle during the stint of fresh to worn tires changed greatly. Finally, in the 174th lap, there was an accident in Dixon. Lying in second place he came in front of the lapping of James Jakes on the apron and lost control of his vehicle. He slammed into the wall and retired.
During the subsequent restart Power fell on by a lack of sportsmanship. While his teammate Briscoe passed him on the outside track, Canaan tried on the inside lane of power to drive past. However, Power moved to the left and it came while a collision between him and Canaan. Both retained control of their vehicle, but had to Canaan with a damaged front wing to the pits and dropped out of the lead lap. Power was shortly afterwards occupied by the race due to blocking with a drive-through penalty. This he also fell out of the lead lap and came in eighth place back on the track. Power commented on the incident after the race as follows: "I had Briscoe outside next to me and Canaan surprised me. I am sorry, because I ruined his day because he had to change the wing to the box. But I ruined with the penalty even my own day. "
At the top took over in the meantime Rahal 's lead Briscoe. Rahal claimed the lead and had a safe lead at the top. However, in the last round but there was a slight touch of wall Rahal. He kept control of his vehicle, but Wilson pulled two laps to go on the back straight over and eventually won the race. It was Wilson's first victory of the season and his first win on an oval track at all. His car was so Wilson, particularly strong on the long runs. Wilson had gone from 17th on the grid into the race. Rahal crossed the finish line in second place ahead of Briscoe.
James Hinchcliffe, who changed his strategy due to reduced tire in the race, was fourth ahead of Hildebrand, who had started from position 23 and had worked in the race forward. Pagenaud, who in the meantime was behind a round, crossed the finish line in sixth and last pilot on the lead lap. The top 10 was completed by Castroneves, Power, Tagliani and Jakes.
After the race penalties against Wilson and Ed Carpenter were made, because the vehicles did not comply with the regulations. When Wilson is not approved aerodynamic components were on the sidepods, Carpenter at a non- rule- compliant additional Gurney flap was affixed. Wilson's team Dale Coyne Racing has been deducted five points Owner and subject to a fine of 7,500 dollars. Ed Carpenter Racing was deducted a point and owner had to pay a fine of $ 5,000. The classification of the race was unchanged and also on the drivers' standings these punishments had no effect.
Power retained the lead in the championship and built the lead to Dixon something out. Hinchcliffe took the third place of Castroneves. At the engine manufacturers, the positions remained unchanged.
The drivers were very happy with the race. Power said after the race: " This was the best racing I've ever experienced in an oval. You had to Lupfen and properly drive a car. That was fun. "This dangerous Pack racing was prevented by the modifications made to the vehicle. There were some exciting duels. The driver spoke out after the race in favor of continued discharge on the track IndyCar race. The contract between track and IndyCar ended after this race, but was extended.
All teams and drivers used the chassis Dallara DW12 with an aero kit from Dallara and a Firestone tire.
Points standings after the race
The scoring is explained here.