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Tony Kanaan upset about being blocked by Will Power at Texas

By Stephen Hawkins

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, June 9 2012 10:39 p.m. MDT

Will Power (12), of Australia, passes Ryan Briscoe (2), of Australia, coming out of Turn 4 during the IndyCar auto race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 9, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas. Justin Wilson won the race.

Ralph Lauer, Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — Will Power was busy trying to hold off his teammate from passing him for the lead on the final restart in the IndyCar race at Texas when he realized Tony Kanaan was trying to get underneath him.

That is when Power reacted, and made contact with Kanaan's front wing Saturday night.

"Will just put the biggest block ever in the oval. ... That move right there to me is unacceptable," Kanaan said. "Unfortunate that happened because I thought we had a pretty good car and could have won that race. ... On the last restart, as usual, I said let's go for it. Then I did, and he overreacted."

Kanaan had to make a stop to replace his wing and finished 11th, a lap behind winner Justin Wilson.

IndyCar officials gave Power a drive-through penalty for blocking. The series points leader ended up finishing eight, also a lap down, after leading 24 laps. It was Power's sixth top-10 finish, including three victories.

"I had (Ryan) Briscoe on the outside of me and Tony took me by surprise. I feel bad for him because I ruined his day," Power said. "We ruined our own day, we had one of the best cars out there. ... I feel we could have quite easily won this race."

DIXON DONE EARLY: Scott Dixon couldn't hold on any longer after leading a race-high 133 laps.

Dixon had already given up his lead when he was passed by Will Power, and right after that — on lap 173 — Dixon was in Turn 4 when he spun and made contact with the wall.

"We just got loose. ... For the last 10 laps of that stint, I was really fighting to hold on," Dixon said. "I kind of got in the middle of a few people we were trying to lap and I was trying to get back up to Power there. I turned in and the rear just started to slide and I kind of dipped down onto the apron and shot around again."

Dixon led all 60 laps while winning at Belle Isle a week earlier, and led 53 laps in his runner-up finish at the Indianapolis 500 before that.

LAST CALL FOR TMS?: With no deal in place for IndyCar to return to Texas Motor Speedway in 2013, Saturday night's 24th race might have been the last for the series.

Texas has been on IndyCar's schedule for 16 consecutive years, and its race crowd is second only to the Indianapolis 500. But the relationship between the series and track promoter Eddie Gossage has been strained lately because of a variety of different issues, some financially related and some over safety concerns drivers have raised with the 1 1/2-mile, high-banked track.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said Saturday he made a point of not discussing 2013 with Texas until after the race, but said before the race, "We definitely want to come back if it's financially worthwhile."

Bernard added that drivers — concerned about the compatibility of Indy cars on high-banked ovals following Dan Wheldon's death at Las Vegas in October — won't influence whether or not the series returns to Texas.

"We want input from team owners, drivers, sponsors and fans and our partners," he said. "I want to hear what their opinion is after (Saturday), but I want to also see how the schedule is laying out and what makes sense."

Bernard has already announced a street race in Houston for next season, and said there's "a tremendous amount of interest" from promoters in Austin. Gossage doesn't like the series racing in other Texas cities, arguing it pulls away from his fan base.

"Eddie doesn't call me and tell me how many NASCAR events he's going to have, or how many races he's going to have here, and it's none of my business," Bernard said. "My business is IndyCar and I think Eddie is a great partner, but let's be honest, it's two different markets. If you look at our crossover with the audience on ovals, it's 67 percent crossover with NASCAR. When you look at road and street, it's a different demographic."

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