FORT WORTH – Despite the high hopes coming into the DXC Technology 600, the race at Texas Motor Speedway was over before it really began for A.J. Foyt’s ABC Supply team.
Matheus ‘Matt’ Leist started 19th and began working his way through the field when he slowed in Turn 2 and headed for the deceleration lane as his car caught on fire just five laps into the race. He climbed out quickly after bringing it to a halt. He was not injured in the incident.
“We were having a solid start I think and then I just lost power in Turn 1,” Leist related.
“I told the team “No power. No power.” And then suddenly I just saw flames coming up from the engine cover. We don’t know what happened. The only thing is that it is a pity for the team. I feel for the team not just for myself. I think we had a great car here and we could have done a great race here. It is what it is. It happens sometimes. Looking forward to the next one now.”
Tony Kanaan, who started sixth, vaulted to fourth on the first lap. The following lap he slipped back to sixth when his car pushed high in Turn 2. Kanaan was running sixth up to lap 20 when eventual winner Scott Dixon passed him.
Kanaan’s young teammate hadn’t finished his post-race interviews when Kanaan was in pit lane on lap 27 with a broken rear suspension after brushing the wall in Turn 2. The crew replaced the suspension and Kanaan went back out and ran about four laps but A.J. Foyt told him to park it because they were so many laps down.
“I don’t know what happened,” Kanaan said. “We definitely had a little issue with the rear of the car and it cost us the race. But it was a great weekend up until now, we qualified sixth. You know when you’re 12 laps down, it’s not worth it to put yourself out there. We’re not going to gain anything so we decided to stop. We’ll bounce back.”
Scott Dixon won the race to move into the championship lead and third on the all-time win list behind A.J. Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52). Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five.
The No. 4 team heads to Road America to test with Leist this week, while Kanaan heads to France to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next weekend. The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to action in two weeks at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. The Kohler Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network June 24 starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.