|14th round of the 2016 IndyCar Series season|
|Date||June 12/August 27, 2016|
|Official name||Firestone 600|
|Location||Texas Motor Speedway|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
1.455 mi / 2.342 km
360.8 mi / 580.8 km
|Driver||Carlos Muñoz (Andretti Autosport)|
|Time||24.1148 + 24.1312 = 48.2460|
|Driver||Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|Time||24.3797 (on lap 119 of 248)|
|First||Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|Second||James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|Third||Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
The 2016 Firestone 600 was the 14th round of the 2016 IndyCar Series season, contested over 248 laps at the 1.5-mile (2.4 km) Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The race was originally scheduled as the ninth round of the series and originally began on June 12, 2016, following an extended series of delays caused by rain. After 71 laps, the race was suspended due to further rainfall, and re-scheduled to continue on August 27, 2016.
June 11–12 weekend
The race was originally scheduled to be held on the evening of June 11, for a 7:50 p.m. CT start. The track experienced rainfall throughout the afternoon, which subsided about three hours prior to the race's scheduled start time. However, due to difficulties in fully drying the track because of the high humidity and weepers, officials called off the race at 10:30 p.m., and rescheduled it to Sunday afternoon. The race began at 1:49 p.m. CT, which itself was delayed from a 1:06 p.m. start in order to address issues with the track's drainage system. Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly were involved in a wreck on lap 42, which resulted in an extended, nearly 30-lap caution period in order to repair a SAFER barrier. Newgarden suffered a fractured clavicle and wrist in the accident. At 2:42 p.m., the race was red flagged on lap 71 due to further heavy rainfall, and ultimately suspended. Under IndyCar Series rules, the race could only be declared official after lap 125.
Due to forecasts calling for more rain on Monday, and logistical issues surrounding driver participation (several IndyCar Series drivers were scheduled to participate in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans the following weekend) and impact on testing schedules, IndyCar announced that the Firestone 600 would be restarted on the evening of August 27, 2016 at 8:15 p.m. The race would continue from lap 71, with James Hinchcliffe as leader.
Driver substitutions were not allowed, and only drivers whose cars were capable of resuming the race at the time it was originally halted were allowed to participate. Cars were required to use the same body configuration they had initially used at the original time of the race, although they did not need to use the same car or engine. All tickets from the original race remained valid. The track also announced incentives and other promotions for the re-scheduled race, including discounted tickets and food, free T-shirts, free tickets for those who purchase tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' AAA Texas 500 playoff round, and an autograph session with drivers. Special events for police were also involved as part of "Back the Blue" on the rescheduled weekend.
The rescheduled continuation of the event occurred on August 27 with far better weather than the original attempt to complete the race. Two 10-minute practice sessions were held a few hours before the race to allow for the drivers to warm-up before the race's continuation. Scott Dixon was the fastest of these sessions with a time of 24.369. At the beginning of the first session, Takuma Sato crashed following a suspension piece breaking on his car, putting him in jeopardy of not be able to restart the race. The team would be able to repair the car in time, but Sato retired early due to mechanical issues.
The restart of the race saw Ryan Hunter-Reay move past James Hinchcliffe for the race lead almost immediately. However, on lap 79, Hinchcliffe retook the lead and began to pull away from the rest of the field quickly. Hélio Castroneves moved into second position on lap 85 and became to only person who could keep pace with Hinchcliffe over the early stages of the race. Hunter-Reay began falling through the field with handling issues, moving Graham Rahal to third.
The first round of pit stops came between roughly lap 100 and lap 120. Hinchcliffe was able to extend his tires all the way to lap 120, proving the good handling of his car. The lead briefly changed to Castroneves during Hinchcliffe's stop, but Hinchcliffe quickly moved back around Castroneves due to his fresher tires. The running order remained largely unchanged until the next round of pit stops, where several cars had to pit much earlier than intended due to tire wear. This allowed for Ed Carpenter to move into second place and slowly begin catching Hinchcliffe. Castroneves moved back into the top three after pit stops for the leaders, but poor handling once again forced him to pit early.
The final round of green flag pit stops came roughly around lap 200. James Hinchcliffe once again emerged the leader over Carpenter. On lap 213, however, the complexion of the race changed when the first caution period of the night came out. Scott Dixon, attempting to pass Ed Carpenter and get closer to getting back on the lead lap, made contact with Carpenter's left rear tire, sending Dixon into a spin and into the turn one wall. Hélio Castroneves was tapped at the tail end of the incident, but suffered no significant damage. The incident allowed several drivers, including Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and lap down drivers Mikhail Aleshin and Simon Pagenaud, to come into the pits for fresh tires in hopes of gaining an advantage. Hinchcliffe, however, continued to lead.
Racing resumed on lap 220, with Carpenter now giving Hinchcliffe a serious challenge for the lead. Meanwhile, Aleshin was able to pass his teammate Hinchcliffe to put himself back on the lead lap. On lap 224, the left rear tire on Carpenter's car went down in turn four, possibly from the damage sustained in the prior incident with Dixon, sending Carpenter into a spin and collecting Castroneves. Carpenter was out of the race, while Castroneves miraculously avoided race-ending damage and managed to stay on the lead lap. Aleshin was able to circle back around to the tail end of the field as the fifth and final car on the lead lap.
Racing once again resumed on 230, where Simon Pagenaud managed to get by Hinchcliffe to get himself back on the lead lap as well. One lap later, caution flew again, this time for Aleshin spinning in turn four and collecting Jack Hawksworth, putting them both out of the race. This set up an eight lap shoot-out to the end, with James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Hélio Castroneves, and Simon Pagenaud the only cars on the lead lap. During the yellow, Kanaan, Pagenaud, and Castroneves all elected to pit for fresh tires.
The final restart of the night came on lap 240, with all but Castroneves in contention for the victory. Hinchcliffe was able to barely maintain the lead lap after lap. However, on the final lap of the race, Rahal was able to get inside of Hinchcliffe in turn three, allowing him to pull in front in the turn. Hinchcliffe made ground back up Rahal on the frontstretch, but came just short, with Rahal crossing the line only 8 thousands of a second before Hinchcliffe. Kanaan came across the line third, while Pagenaud finished fourth.
The finish between Rahal and Hinchcliffe was the closest finish in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and the fifth-closest in the history of the IndyCar Series. For Rahal, the victory was the fourth of his career and his first since Mid-Ohio of the previous season. It also marked the first win for a Honda powered car since the Indianapolis 500. Further back, Simon Pagenaud managed to increase his championship lead slightly over his teammate Will Power, who finished in eighth, with only two races remaining in the championship. Alexander Rossi was the highest placed rookie in the race with an 11th-place finish.
Following the race, James Hinchcliffe and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports were deemed to have violated dome skid wear rules during the race. The team was fined $20,000 for the infraction. In addition, 25 points were deducted from the cars entrant points and from Hinchcliffe's driver's points total.
|Pos||No.||Name||Lap 1 Time||Lap 2 Time||Total Time||Avg. Speed (mph)|
|2||9||Scott Dixon W||24.1177||24.1809||48.2986||216.901|
|3||3||Hélio Castroneves W||24.1543||24.1800||48.3343||216.740|
|7||12||Will Power W||24.1310||24.2241||48.3551||216.647|
|8||10||Tony Kanaan W||24.2046||24.2293||48.4339||216.295|
|9||98||Alexander Rossi R||24.1853||24.2559||48.4412||216.262|
|14||20||Ed Carpenter W||24.2352||24.3208||48.5560||215.751|
|17||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||24.3072||24.3552||48.6624||215.279|
|19||8||Max Chilton R||24.3430||24.4135||48.7565||214.864|
|21||18||Conor Daly R||24.5178||24.4753||48.9931||213.826|
|22||19||Gabby Chaves||No Time||No Speed|
|OFFICIAL BOX SCORE|
1 Points include 1 point for leading at least 1 lap during a race, an additional 2 points for leading the most race laps, and 1 point for Pole Position.
Source for time gaps:
Championship standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included.
- Davison, Drew (June 11, 2016). "Rain postpones IndyCar Firestone 600 to Sunday". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Fort Worth, Texas: The McClatchy Company. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Cavin, Curt (June 12, 2016). "IndyCar Firestone 600 at Texas postponed until Aug. 27". USA Today. Fort Worth, Texas: Gannett Company. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Davison, Drew (June 11, 2016). "Texas Motor Speedway's IndyCar race rescheduled for Aug. 27". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Fort Worth, Texas: The McClatchy Company. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- Malsher, David (June 13, 2016). "Hildebrand to sub for injured Newgarden". Motorsport.com. Fort Worth, Texas: Motorsport Network, LLC. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- Cavin, Curt (June 24, 2016). "Newgarden, Daly won't finish Firestone 600". The Indianapolis Star. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin: Gannett Company. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- Oreovicz, John (June 12, 2016). "Texas washout continues bad luck for IndyCar in Texas". ESPN.com. Fort Worth, Texas: ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- "IndyCar's rescheduled race in Texas has perks, discounts". Associated Press. Fort Worth, Texas: AP Sports. Associated Press. June 30, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
- "INDYCAR: Dixon tops short Texas practice". Racer.com. Racer Media & Marketing, Inc. August 27, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Hawkins, Stephen (August 28, 2016). "Rahul makes last-lap pass to win IndyCar race at Texas". Associated Press. Fort Worth, Texas: AP Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Malsher, David (August 27, 2016). "Rahal steals sensational victory from Hinchcliffe". Motorsport.com. Fort Worth, Texas: Motorsport Network, LLC. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Robinson, Mitch (August 27, 2016). "Rahul wins Firestone 600 in closest finish in Texas Motor Speedway history". IndyCar.com. Fort Worth, Texas: Brickyard Trademarks, Inc. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- "INDYCAR: Hinchcliffe, SPM penalized for domed skid violation". Racer.com. Racer Media & Marketing, Inc. August 31, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- "Race Report: 2016 Firestone 600". theapexracing.co. TheApex.racing LLC. August 24, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- "Indycar 2016 Texas". Motorsport.com. Motorsport Network, LLC. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
2016 ABC Supply 500
2016 IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen
2015 Firestone 600
|Firestone 600||Next race:|
2017 Rainguard Water Sealers 600