Race Report: XPEL 375
ROANOKE, Texas (May 2, 2021)—The XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway had barely started before it ended for both of A.J. Foyt’s cars as a multi-car wreck on the frontstretch claimed six cars. All of the drivers emerged without injury but their cars sustained heavy damage.
Sebastien Bourdais rightfully asked, “Is there a target on my back?” afterwards as his No. 14 ROKiT Chevrolet was hit from behind for the second race in a row. Dalton Kellett was also lucky to escape serious injury as he had gone low to avoid the wreck only to have Bourdais careen down in front of him. The contact sent Kellett high into the wreck and he t-boned Conor Daly who was coming down the middle of the melee. Daly got turned over and skidded on his roll hoop down the track. The car righted itself before it came to a stop.
Bourdais and Kellett check in with each other after the wreck.
Also out of the race due to the wreck were Alexander Rossi, Pietro Fittipaldi and Ed Jones.
The ROKiT crew worked until midnight repairing the car and were back at it in the morning two hours before the garage officially opened at noon today.
The ROKiT crew looks over the repairs they made to prep the car for today's race.
“The second day here at Texas and the No. 14 Chevy ROKiT didn’t even manage to get through the
green flag,” said Bourdais. “It’s really a big shame because the guys had worked very hard until midnight to fix the car and we were just a victim of circumstances again. Got taken out at the start and there was nothing we could do, so we’ll try to rebound and have a good month of May.”
His teammate Kellett offered this perspective. “First I’m just very happy everyone was checked and cleared at medical. It’s definitely not the way you want to see the start of a race go—a car going upside down, another proof that the aeroscreen is worth its weight and doing its job. We can’t have starts like that, it’s a shame for the guys to have to come back to Indy now going into the month of May and have to patch up two torn up race cars. I feel bad for the No. 4 and 14 crews and for our partners and our team. Yesterday we had a positive day for the 4 car but it’s been a trying weekend overall. But the guys will get the cars fixed up for May and we’ll be back on track in about a week and a half for Indy GP. I’m looking forward to that and then on to the Indy 500.”
When the checkered flag flew it was Pato O’Ward celebrating his first career victory in the NTT INDYCAR Series after finishing second three times since joining the series fulltime last year. Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon and Colton Herta rounded out the top five.
The teams will be heading to Indianapolis for the GMR Grand Prix on May 15. The race will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.