FORT WORTH, TX – This weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway was supposed to be about Chevrolet. 13 days ago, they led 150 of 200 laps for the Indianapolis 500 and finished 1-2. They also had nine of the top 11 starters that day as it was apparent that they had the superior package on superspeedways.
The three Team Penske drivers started 1-2-3 for Saturday night’s DXC Technology 600 and throw in Tony Kanaan in sixth and you had four Chevy drivers in the first three rows for the 248 Lap race. With passing being few and far between, they had the race to lose right?
Instead, tire wear and fuel mileage cost them.
The Penske drivers were beat by the Honda drivers by a good 10 laps on fuel mileage stints. Where Honda gave up speed they had better fuel economy. Then, they also had better tire wear.
The Penske trio were struggling with tires blistering all night. Honda drivers had longer runs at higher speeds than the Penske drivers which helped put several cars laps down early and often.
By time the second caution flew on Lap 172, only six cars were on the lead lap, four of them were Honda powered. At one point, eight of the top 10 cars were Honda drivers. They’d finish with the win and eight of the top nine finishers.
Also, 11 of the top 12 drivers to make the most passes on Saturday night were Honda drivers. That’s saying something. Honda also led 163 of 248 laps on Saturday night.