The Latest: Fiery early finish for Leist in IndyCar at Texas

(AP Photo/Larry Papke)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) The Latest on IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway (all times local):

7:55 p.m.

IndyCar rookie driver Matheus Leist pulled his No. 4 car to the apron and quickly jumped out of the cockpit as fire overtook the car only seven laps into Saturday night's race at Texas.

Leist was coming off the backstretch when he slowed and moved down on the track. Flames were visible soon after that. As the car rolled to a stop, Leist jumped out of the car that was engulfed by time safety teams got there.

The 19-year-old driver was cleared by medical officials and was OK.

There was no apparent contact with any other cars before the fire.


7:20 p.m.

"Too Tall" for IndyCar?

When second-year IndyCar driver Ed Jones was introduced before Saturday night's race in Texas, a Dallas Cowboys legend with the same name walked out on the stage instead.

The driver followed soon after that.

Ed "Too Tall" Jones was a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end and part of the Cowboys' 1977 Super Bowl championship during his NFL career (1974-78, 1980-89). He was a professional boxer between his Cowboys stints, going 6-0 with five knockouts as a heavyweight.

The 6-foot-9 Jones, the tallest player in the NFL during his time, grew up in Tennessee as a NASCAR and boxing fan like his father. This is his first IndyCar race, though he has done the NASCAR driving school at TMS in the past and got up to 160 mph.

"Like most men, I have a thing for speed," he said. "Unfortunately for me, when I was old enough to afford one of those muscle cars, I was too tall."

Ed "Too Fast" Jones was IndyCar's top rookie last season. When he was a young racer growing up in Dubai and his parents were working to set up a website, "Too Tall" would always pop up on their searches.

Some American drivers he raced against in Europe started calling him "Too Tall." Jones didn't know the reference then, and they told him to figure it out.

Now the two Joneses have met.


6:10 p.m.

Team Penske will start in the top three spots for the IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The last time Penske swept the top three qualifying positions for a race was the 2017 season finale at Sonoma Raceway, when the team also went on to finish 1-2-3 in the race.

Defending IndyCar Series season champ Josef Newgarden is on the pole at Texas, with Simon Pagenaud also starting on the front row Saturday night. Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power, who won at Texas last year, starts third.

At Sonoma last September, Pagenaud won. Newgarden was second and Power third.


More AP auto racing:

Updated June 9, 2018