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IndyCar title rivals Pagenaud/Power admit playing it safe at Texas

IndyCar title contenders Simon Pagenaud and Will Power both admitted to playing safe to stay out of trouble in a wild finish to Saturday night's race at Texas

The Penske team-mates went into the race - resuming after bad weather prevented the full distance being completed in June - separated by 20 points, but that gap extended to 28 points with two rounds to go thanks to Pagenaud's fourth place.

The Frenchman was involved in a fierce battle for the lead with Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Tony Kanaan in the closing stages, but he eventually backed out of going for the win.

"My spotter said 'four-wide' and I thought 'Uh oh, that's no good'," said Pagenaud.

"I thought we were going to get the win, but when it went four-wide I got touched and I had to back out or there was going to be a big wreck.

"It was exciting, we had a great show. Everything nearly came together."

While Power lost ground with his eighth place finish, there are still more than 150 points available due to the double-points finale at Sonoma, and he can take heart from the fact Scott Dixon overturned a 47-point deficit to Juan Pablo Montoya to snatch the 2015 title at the final race.

"That was an intense race there at the end - I just stayed out of it," said Power.

"If we didn't get a late yellow I would have finished around Simon, maybe ahead, maybe behind.

"But that was going to be a crazy restart at the end - it was something to watch.

"We are still up there in points and Watkins Glen is right around the corner.

"There are still plenty of points on the table. We'll look ahead to next week."

REMAINING INDYCAR TITLE CONTENDERS

Pos Driver Points
1 Simon Pagenaud 529
2 Will Power 501
3 Tony Kanaan 416
4 Helio Castroneves 415
5 Josef Newgarden 406
6 Scott Dixon 397
7 Graham Rahal 394
8 Carlos Munoz 382
9 James Hinchcliffe 367

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