Power Victorious In IndyCar At Pocono Raceway

Will Power leading and on his way to winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. [Chris Jones Photo]

Will Power leading and on his way to winning the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. [Chris Jones Photo]

by Joe Jennings

Will Power was masterful at Pocono Raceway as he sped to his second consecutive victory in the ABC Supply 500, the 14th round of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. Losing a lap in the early going while pitting for a wing replacement, Power and his Team Penske adhered to a workable strategy to gain the lead and the eventual victory.

To win, the crafty driver drove defensively over the course of the final 10 laps around the 2.5-mile oval and staved off the hard charges of teammate Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi to garner his 32nd career win. His victory moved him into ninth place on the all-time win list, breaking a tie with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy.

The margin of victory was a mere .05268 seconds.

Passing and lead changes thrilled the crowd, which had to hold their collective breaths often as the action took place non-stop.

“Oh, man, what a day!” said the victor. “After losing a lap, I just thought, ‘Just hang in there, and pick people off one by one and be smart.’ In IndyCar, you never want to give up as you don’t know what can happen.”

“I love racing on ovals,” said Power, whose win today is his sixth on an oval track. “Every oval win I get, I really, really enjoy because we don’t have many of them. To come back and win it again in a very different way this year – it was a crazy race, exciting to me – but feels fantastic to go back-to-back.”

Power became the first-ever back-to-back winner in the 24-year history of the race.

Newgarden, the series point leader by 18, finished runner-up with Rossi coming in a very close third.

Said the point leader who was seeking his third-straight victory, “Will made great moves to keep me behind him and he deserves the win as he had the car to beat. He led the class the second half of the race. I was doing everything I could to stay with him as I wanted to beat him.

“From a point stand-point, you don’t want to wreck a teammate. I can’t be disappointed with second. Will had a rocket-ship and I did everything I could to try and beat him. I was on the edge of my seat as it was very nerve-racking. I hate being second but I also want to win the championship, so I have to be smart about it.”

Commented Rossi, “It is a really good result but when you come so close to winning, it is hard to swallow. To come back here and get a spot on the podium is a good testament to this team.”

Simon Pagenaud raced to fourth place ahead of Tony Kanaan.

Trailing the top-five were Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal and Carlos Munoz.

After his massive crash on Saturday, Hunter-Reay had to be cleared by doctors before being allowed to race and race he did.

Said the former winner, “I feel beat but it was a great run. I am happy to be out here today. It was a mental test and a physical one, too. I am super stiff but a happy camper to know I don’t have any broken bones. The fact I could race today was unreal.”

Three cautions slowed the race. On lap 125 entering turn 1, J. R. Hildebrand and James Hinchcliffe came together with both of them slamming into the outside wall at speed. Hinchcliffe took the blame.

At the start, Carpenter, Castroneves and Hunter-Reay were in back due to crashes on Saturday, but they forged ahead quickly with Castroneves picking up 10 positions on the opening lap.

Next race for the series comes next Saturday night at Gateway International outside of St. Louis.

While Hunter-Reay steadily moved through the field, catching the lead pack within 80 laps and took lead on lap 103.

ABC Supply 500 race results
LONG POND, Pennsylvania – Results Sunday of the ABC Supply 500 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (5) Will Power, Chevrolet, 200, Running
2. (14) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
3. (6) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 200, Running
4. (2) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 200, Running
5. (4) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 200, Running
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 200, Running
7. (20) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 200, Running
8. (21) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 200, Running
9. (7) Graham Rahal, Honda, 200, Running
10. (18) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 200, Running
11. (16) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running
12. (22) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 200, Running
13. (1) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running
14. (17) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 200, Running
15. (8) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 200, Running
16. (3) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 200, Running
17. (11) Ed Jones, Honda, 200, Running
18. (10) Max Chilton, Honda, 129, Mechanical
19. (19) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 124, Contact
20. (12) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 124, Contact
21. (15) Sebastian Saavedra, Honda, 114, Contact
22. (13) Esteban Gutierrez, Honda, 23, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 183.737 mph
Time of Race: 2:43:16.6005
Margin of victory: 0.5268 of a second
Cautions: 3 for 17 laps
Lead changes: 42 among 10 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Kanaan 1-11, Rossi 12-27, Kanaan 28-29, Dixon 30-53, Rossi 54-55, Power 56, Hildebrand 57-58, Dixon 59, Rossi 60-65, Dixon 66-81, Rossi 82-83, Hinchcliffe 84, Rossi 85, Hinchcliffe 86-87, Dixon 88-97, Rossi 98-99, Hunter-Reay 100-103, Rossi 104-114, Newgarden 115-117, Hunter-Reay 118-122, Rahal 123, Kanaan 124-133, Rahal 134, Kanaan 135, Rahal 136, Kanaan 137, Rahal 138, Kanaan 139, Rahal 140, Kanaan 141, Rahal 142, Kanaan 143, Rahal 144, Kanaan 145-146, Rahal 147, Kanaan 148-149, Rahal 150, Hunter-Reay 151-153, Power 154-176, Rossi 177-180, Newgarden 181, Andretti 182-190, Power 191-200

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Newgarden 494, Dixon 476, Castroneves 472, Pagenaud 468, Power 452, Rahal 418, Sato 399, Rossi 394, Kanaan 351 and Hinchcliffe 327.

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