Marco Andretti's car is towed away after being involved in the restart collision at the 2014 Grand Prix of St. Pete. (Photo: Richard Dole/LAT Photographic)

’s car is towed away after being involved in the restart collision at the 2014 Grand Prix of St. Pete. (Photo: Richard Dole/LAT Photographic)

Coming to the restart on Lap 82 of the 2014 Verizon Series season opener at St. Petersburg, led the field out of the final hairpin to the green flag at a seemingly sluggish pace.

The cars began to accelerate towards the starting line and then all checked up again, resulting in a collision between and Marco Andretti. The question was raised as to whether Power had accelerated and then slowed down again, initiating the carnage. However, after reviewing the replays and telemetry, the stewards could find no fault with Power’s restart.

It was visually apparent that something had gone wrong before the crash occurred, as the cars began to check up and swerve sideways on their way towards the starting line. Many were quick to question Power’s pace coming out of the final hairpin, given that he was in control of the field.

“Will caused the crash,” said Michael Andretti during the NBC broadcast, “I mean, he stood on it and then backed [off], he got the accordion effect going and then the guys at the back had nowhere to go.”

“They threw the green early,” Power stated after the race. “I thought we were meant to go in [the restart] zone. So that was – I was surprised.”

Power added that he was thrown off a bit when teammate Helio Castroneves appeared to be ‘getting out of line’ before he reached the restart zone.

“The thing to me was Helio getting out of line. That’s when I lifted off the throttle. Why are you getting out of line? Are you going to go like you did last year and jump-start completely and get the lead that way? I wasn’t going to let that happen. I wasn’t even in the zone, so it did not matter.

“I left it a little, I didn’t touch the brake at all. They can look at my data, I did not touch the brake.”

In a report on racer.com, Derrick Walker, IndyCar’s president of competition and operations, says that the stewards could find no fault with Power’s restart.

“We all thought that first restart looked very slow but, after looking at the replays and car data following the race, there was no brake checking by Will or slowing down.

“He brought the field down at the pace car speed and accelerated exactly where he was supposed to and it was a good restart. And Johnny (Rutherford, pace car driver) did exactly as we asked him and pulled off late.

“The trouble was that some guys near the back pulled out of line and paid the price.”

Official Results:

1. (4) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
2. (3) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
3. (10) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
4. (5) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
5. (14) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
6. (2) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
7. (1) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
8. (16) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
9. (22) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
10. (9) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
11. (11) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
12. (15) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
13. (13) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
14. (21) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
15. (18) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
16. (12) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevy, 110, Running
17. (7) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
18. (17) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 110, Running
19. (19) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 109, Running
20. (20) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 108, Running
21. (8) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 83, Contact
22. (6) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 82, Contact

Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 93.572
Time of Race: 02:06:57.6288
Margin of victory: 1.9475
Cautions: 2 for 10 laps
Lead changes: 7 among four drivers
Lap Leaders:
Sato: Lap 1 – 26
Castroneves: Lap 27 – 28
Sato: Lap 29 – 30
Power: Lap 31 – 52
Sato: Lap 53 – 57
Power: Lap 58 – 76
Conway: Lap 77
Power: Lap 78 – 110

Verizon IndyCar Series Point Standings:

  1. Power: 53 points
  2. Hunter-Reay: 40 points
  3. Castroneves: 36 points
  4. Dixon: 32 points
  5. Pagenaud: 30 points
  6. Kanaan: 28 points
  7. Sato: 28 points
  8. Wilson: 24 points
  9. Newgarden: 22 points
  10. Briscoe: 20 points
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