Carpenter holds on to win IndyCar race at Texas

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - IndyCar owner Ed Carpenter now drives his car only on ovals. He does it well.

Carpenter stayed in front of Will Power during a two-lap shootout to win at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night after a late caution night wiped out his huge lead. The victory came two weeks after a late accident took away any chance to win the Indianapolis 500.

“It’s just good to bounce back,” Carpenter said. “Nothing really totally makes up for missed opportunity at the Speedway. But at the same time, it always feels good to win, especially a place like this. … This is a big win for us.”

On the final green-flag stop with 35 laps left, Carpenter beat polesitter and season points leader Power off pit road. Team Penske driver Power made things worse when he was penalized for speeding out of the pits.

“I’m just going too hard,” said Power, who had his fourth drive-thru penalty in five races but kept the points lead. “I just go for race wins. I’m not looking at points.”

Power was sixth, and Carpenter had a lead of about 18 seconds over Juan Pablo Montoya, when Takuma Sato’s engine blew and his car caught fire with seven laps left.

While the top four cars stayed out during that caution, Power went in for fresh tires. That gave him the chance to make up some ground, and he made a big charge after the final restart to finish second, only a half-second back.

With another lap, the outcome might have been different.

“I don’t know. Ed was awfully strong,” Power said. “He’s an awesome driver and it would have been a good battle at the end. … It was a lot of fun.”

Carpenter’s third career victory, all on ovals, came after leading 90 of 248 laps.

After winning at Kentucky for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2011, he started his own team the next year and won the season finale at California. Carpenter was on the pole at Indy the last two seasons, and this year is leaving the road and street courses to Mike Conway.

Conway won at Long Beach the second race this season and was in the cockpit for both races at Detroit last weekend.

So this was the first race for Carpenter since the late crash at Indy with James Hinchcliffe.

“It feels good. There’s no denying the fact that I was really mad after Indy,” Carpenter said. “It’s not that I’m still mad at Hinch, but I’m still mad at the situation and we lost an opportunity. … We’re just going to keep the intensity up and try to keep fighting for wins.”

Carpenter went to the high side to get around Power on lap 182, and within a lap had already pushed ahead by nearly a second. Power led 145 laps.

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