Car owner Ed Carpenter now drives his car only on ovals. He does it well.
Carpenter won the IndyCar Series race on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, staying in front of Will Power during a two-lap shootout after a late caution.
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.
Power was sixth, and Carpenter had a lead of 18 seconds over Juan Pablo Montoya, when Takuma Sato’s engine blew and his car caught fire with 10 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.
Montoya finished third, ahead of Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan – the only drivers to finish on the lead lap. Helio Castroneves, the defending race winner and a four-time winner at Texas, was 10th.
Matt Kenseth furrowed his brow at the mere suggestion Jimmie Johnson had spiraled toward a slump.
Only a chump would count out the champ after a 0-for-11 start.
“I don’t think anybody else was really being like, ‘Oh man, Jimmie’s finally not winning. This is our shot, he’s done,’ ” Kenseth said. “It doesn’t surprise me at all that he won those two races and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he wins this weekend.”
Coming off consecutive wins in the Coca-Cola 600 and at Dover, Johnson stormed into Pocono Raceway for today’s race trying to become the first driver to win three straight since 2007. The last driver to win three straight? Johnson, of course.
He steamrolled to five straight victories in 2007 en route to 10 total and the second of five straight championships.
He won his sixth last season and has stamped himself as a heavy favorite to add a record-tying seventh title.
Nico Rosberg earned the pole position for today’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
The Formula One points leader had the fastest lap in qualifying, completing the 2.71-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in his Mercedes in 1 minute, 14.874 seconds.
Teammate Lewis Hamilton was second, just 0.079 seconds slower.
Defending Formula One champion and last year’s winner, Sebastian Vettel, was third.