Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens has blamed Ed Carpenter for causing their crash in IndyCar’s Texas race, believing that drivers were getting “really desperate” in their on track behaviour.
Wickens, alongside Andretti’s Alexander Rossi and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, had made the most of Honda’s better fuel mileage and had nursed his tyres sufficiently well to climb into the top three.
But Wickens was eliminated in a coming together with the lapped Carpenter on lap 173 of 243 after he had pitted from the lead and began making his way back to the front.
Wickens had run the low line but the Ed Carpenter Racing boss closed the door and the two touched and hit the outside wall, forcing both to retire.
“I think [some cars were] being really desperate, trying to do whatever they can to be racing,” he said.
“[Zachary Claman] De Melo in front of me was being so dangerous and that’s how Carpenter got by me. Ed made a mistake.
“I went to his inside. I don’t know if his spotter didn’t tell him I was there, but he just turned in and we had contact and went up into the wall. It sucks.
“We were so strong the whole night. Things were going so smoothly, we were getting the fuel mileage. I’m just frustrated.
“When you’re driving around slower cars, they’re getting blue flags every time at start-finish – they’re getting blue flags and they ignore every single one of them.
“We shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place, but it just sucks. We had such a good car.”
Carpenter admitted that the blame was fair.
“It was a mistake,” he said. “I knew Robby [Wickens] was coming. I thought I could close the door, but it was a big mistake on my part.
“He was a lead lap car. We were having a bad day, we just didn’t have it this weekend. We just could never get the balance right where it needed to be.
“I made it worse by making a mistake like that so, my apologies to him. I know it doesn’t mean much now.
“I feel bad for those guys. I feel bad for my guys. The night certainly didn’t need to end like this.
“It’s a mistake on me, and I’ll have to come back and get them in Iowa [Carpenter races the ovals for his ECR team].”