(This story originally appeared as exclusive content on the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app. To download the app for use on smartphones, click here.)
FORT WORTH, Texas – Following Saturday night’s Rainguard Water Sealers 600, when both of his cars were innocent victims in the crash involving nine cars, Dale Coyne could only shake his head when asked to consider how much equipment the team has gone through in less than a month.
As Coyne assessed over the damage late Saturday night in the Texas Motor Speedway garage area, he was asked how much the three weeks have cost the team.
“I don’t even want to add it up,” Coyne told the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app. “We’ve got a test scheduled for Wednesday at Road America. I’m just trying to figure out how in the hell we are going to make it there.”
Coyne was clearly upset with Kanaan, whom he blamed for triggering the crash that took out both Dale Coyne Racing entries. During the red flag when the cars still running were parked on pit lane, Coyne went to Kanaan’s car and confronted the driver, who was still strapped in, until an INDYCAR official escorted Coyne away.
“I’m calmer these days, but my anger is coming back,” Coyne said. “He said he didn’t think he did anything wrong. Look at the two laps before that. He chopped off both of our cars. A lap and a half later, he took out however many cars were in that crash.
“The (No.) 18 car is in sad shape right now.”
So is Coyne’s budget after he went “all in” this season, revamping his modest team to hire Bourdais and bolster the engineering staff by adding Craig Hampson – Bourdais’ engineer for four straight Indy car titles at Newman/Haas Racing – and Olivier Boisson, who was Bourdais’ engineer for at KV Racing.
“We were running really good at Texas, had a car that was leading the race early and could have been in a position for the win at the end,” Coyne said. “Ed Jones did a great job coming from 19th up to sixth and then this happens. Sheesh!”
Vautier and Jones wound up finishing 16th and 17th, respectively, in the race eventually won by Team Penske’s Will Power. Only nine cars were running at the conclusion. Coyne believed his drivers would have been in contention had they been on track and not in the garage.
“We knew what our strategy was going to be at the end and we thought we were in pretty good shape,” he said. “The Penskes were strong, but we believe we had it for them, too.”
Instead, Coyne was watching broken parts of his race cars being tossed into the dumpster.