Huertas shocks IndyCar field in Houston

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Sunday 29th June, 2014 - 8:29am

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Carlos Huertas scores maiden IndyCar win by leading a Colombian trifecta in Houston

Carlos Huertas scores maiden IndyCar win by leading a Colombian trifecta in Houston

Unheralded racer Carlos Huertas supplied long-time IndyCar team owner Dale Coyne with a rare victory in a wild and wet Houston race.

Rookie Huertas survived a messy race with a series of late safety cars playing havoc with strategies.

In a history-making finish to a timed raced after a rain-delayed start, Huertas led home compatriots Juan Montoya (Team Penske) and Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport) to a Colombian trifecta.

In a series of bizarre twists, Ganassi driver Tony Kanaan was on line for a podium before Graham Rahal misjudged his run on the final restart, firing into the back of the Brazilian.

“I want to believe he didn’t do it on purpose, he came to apologise but it didn’t take the frustration out of me,” a dejected Kanaan said.

Rahal ultimately dropped to 11th with stewards issuing a 30s penalty as Sebastien Bourdais was elevated to fourth amid the late race dramas.

Earlier Justin Wilson looked like he was going to pull out a remarkable win in the other Dale Coyne car before being hauled in for a pit stop that had been ill-timed by one lap.

Huertas became the seventh different winner from the nine races ahead of the second leg of the Houston double-header on the 10-turn street track tomorrow.

AJ Foyt driver Takuma Sato sliced his way to front from the third row with some aggressive driving to pounce in the early going from polesitter Simon Pagenaud.

Sato was then taken out by the lapped Mikhail Aleshin with just over one hour  of the 1:50m race remaining, injuring his right hand in the process.

The Japanese driver had moved over, contributing to the accident, undoing all the good work he had done.

Rookie Luca Filippi shunted heavily after misjudging his car’s handling, ending in race-ending damage to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry.

James Hinchliffe (Andretti Autosport) took the lead form Sato in the pits after a slick service from his Andretti Autosport crew but found himself shuffled down the order as strategies changed wildly later in the race.

Ganassi team-mates Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball were involved in a race-ending accident with just over 40 minutes remaining as Dixon hit the wall before Kimball was drawn innocently into the wreck.

Polesitter Simon Pagenaud was also caught up in Dixon’s crash.

With four minutes remaining Ganassi’s Ryan Briscoe made contact with Sebastian Saavedra, bringing out a full course caution, triggering stewards to hand the Australian a 30s time penalty.

Will Power, who started from 18th after missing his qualifying set-up, was tormented by a scrappy race.

The series leader lost control under braking with 27 minutes remaining, kissing a tyre barrier in 12th before being restarted and scrambling to 14th place.

Power’s nearest rival and Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves finished 9th after looking a strong podium contender in an ever changing race.

The Toowoomba racer will now take a slightly reduced 33-point lead going into the final leg of the Houston meeting which is scheduled for 90 laps.

See below for full race results

1

Carlos Huertas

Dallara/Honda

80

1:51:25

2

Juan Pablo Montoya

Dallara/Chevrolet

80

.0975

3

Carlos Muñoz

Dallara/Honda

80

2.3433

4

Sébastien Bourdais

Dallara/Chevrolet

80

3.0878

5

James Hinchcliffe

Dallara/Honda

80

4.7101

6

Jack Hawksworth

Dallara/Honda

80

5.5127

7

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Dallara/Honda

80

6.2853

8

Marco Andretti

Dallara/Honda

80

7.1638

9

Hélio Castroneves

Dallara/Chevrolet

80

8.2181

10

Justin Wilson

Dallara/Honda

80

9.4366

11

Graham Rahal

Dallara/Honda

80

30.8792

12

Ryan Briscoe

Dallara/Chevrolet

80

33.2884

13

Tony Kanaan

Dallara/Chevrolet

80

35.0789

14

Will Power

Dallara/Chevrolet

79

1 Lap

15

Sebastian Saavedra

Dallara/Chevrolet

79

1 Lap

16

Simon Pagenaud

Dallara/Honda

74

6 Laps

17

Mike Conway

Dallara/Chevrolet

55

Mechanical

18

Charlie Kimball

Dallara/Chevrolet

54

Contact

19

Scott Dixon

Dallara/Chevrolet

46

Contact

20

Josef Newgarden

Dallara/Honda

41

Mechanical

21

Luca Filippi

Dallara/Honda

36

Contact

22

Takuma Sato

Dallara/Honda

32

Contact

23

Mikhail Aleshin

Dallara/Honda

31

Contact

See below points following opening leg of Houston double-header

Pos

Driver

Points

1

Will Power

386

2

Hélio Castroneves

353

3

Ryan Hunter-Reay

336

4

Simon Pagenaud

295

5

Juan Pablo Montoya

263

6

Carlos Muñoz

262

7

Marco Andretti

259

8

Scott Dixon

225

9

James Hinchcliffe

214

10

Sébastien Bourdais

212

11

Tony Kanaan

206

12

Justin Wilson

203

13

Carlos Huertas

197

14

Ryan Briscoe

197

15

Jack Hawksworth

184

16

Charlie Kimball

181

17

Mikhail Aleshin

170

18

Graham Rahal

166

19

Josef Newgarden

161

20

Takuma Sato

160

21

Sebastian Saavedra

153

22

Mike Conway

135

23

Ed Carpenter

104

24

Oriol Servià

88

25

Kurt Busch

80

26

J.R. Hildebrand

66

27

Sage Karam

57

28

James Davison

34

29

Jacques Villeneuve

29

30

Alex Tagliani

28

31

Townsend Bell

22

32

Pippa Mann

21

33

Martin Plowman

18

34

Buddy Lazier

11

35

Luca Filippi

9

36

Franck Montagny

8

 

 

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