Power Outruns Lightning To Win At Pocono

Will Power at Pocono Raceway. © [Jamie Sheldrick/ Spacesuit Media]

Will Power at Pocono Raceway. © [Jamie Sheldrick/ Spacesuit Media]

By Joe Jennings

With high intensity storms approaching the Pocono Raceway, Will Power out ran the lightning and its accompanying rain to win the ABC Supply 500, the 14th NTT IndyCar Series race of the season. The race was shortened to 128 laps, 72 circuits short of the scheduled distance.

For Power, the win was anything but easy as he got behind at the outset after running over debris on the opening lap. But thanks to precision driving and determination and the strategy employed by team owner Roger Penske, he drove to victory, his first of the season. In winning, the victory gave him 13 consecutive seasons with a series checkered flag.

He drove the Verizon Chevrolet to his third triumph at the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” oval at the Pocono Raceway and Team Penske has claimed victory in 11 of 26 IndyCar events at Pocono.

“I’m over the moon,” Power said on television. “When it became time to go, I just went. I was so determined, I just wanted to win. I thought it wasn’t going to happen. We just had the car today, had great stops and the strategy was right. After the first stop, I passed a few cars, saved a lot of fuel and pushed through the sequences to move forward. I knew when we got to the top five, we had a chance.”

For the second consecutive year, a massive, scary crash took place in Turn 2 of the opening lap. It started when Takuma Sato moved down on Alexander Rossi with Ryan Hunter-Reay on the other side. They came together with Sato turning over and landing on top of Hunter-Reay’s car. And then Felix Rosenqvist clobbered the outer wall, climbed atop it and turned over, coming to rest right-side up.

James Hinchcliffe also got caught up.

The race was stopped to tend to the drivers and to commence fence repairs. Four drivers walked away and Rosenqvist was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation but was released later in the afternoon.

Several drivers blamed Sato and Rossi stated he thought that Sato should be suspended. Said Sato, “I thought I was clear but it looks like we made contact. I don’t think I was being overly aggressive but I will wait for the IndyCar call.”

With points so precious, the crews for Rossi, Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay began to make repairs to the cars while fully aware that penalties would be assessed for doing so while the race was stopped. They were each assessed 10-lap penalties.

Each did return to the race but were not able to do much. Rossi ran 39 laps and was scored 18th with Hunter-Reay at 25 laps, one position behind Rossi. Hinchcliffe was scored 20th.

Finishing second was Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud a frustrated third. The 2019 Indianapolis 500 had dominated the race for an extended period, leading 63 laps in total.

Winner Power led 28 laps.

Rookie sensation Santino Ferrucci finished fourth with a sizzling performance.

Fifth place went to point leader Josef Newgarden.

Sixth through 10th were Ed Carpenter, Sebastien Bourdais, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball.

Minor crashes eliminated Colton Herta and Spencer Pigot.

Newgarden continues in the point lead with 535. Rossi continues in second but now 35 in arrears at 500 with Pagenaud next in line at 495 and multi-time champion Dixon at 483.

Three races remain in 2019 with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology at Gateway (Illinois) next in line on Saturday night followed by two road-course events to close out the season.

ABC Supply 500 race results
LONG POND, Pennsylvania – Results Sunday of the ABC Supply 500 NTT 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, 128, Running
2. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 128, Running
3. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 128, Running
4. (13) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 128, Running
5. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 128, Running
6. (15) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 128, Running
7. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 128, Running
8. (19) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 128, Running
9. (8) Graham Rahal, Honda, 128, Running
10. (21) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 128, Running
11. (22) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 128, Running
12. (16) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 128, Running
13. (18) Zach Veach, Honda, 127, Running
14. (20) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 127, Running
15. (17) Marco Andretti, Honda, 126, Running
16. (14) Colton Herta, Honda, 72, Contact
17. (12) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 39, Contact
18. (2) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 39, Running
19. (6) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 25, Contact
20. (10) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 19, Contact
21. (7) Takuma Sato, Honda, 0, Contact
22. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 0, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 168.771 mph

Time of Race: 1:53:45.8296

Margin of victory: Under caution

Cautions: 4 for 23 laps

Lead changes: 12 among 4 drivers

Lap Leaders: Pagenaud, Simon 1 – 36, Dixon, Scott 37, Newgarden, Josef 38, Power, Will 39 – 40, Pagenaud, Simon 41 – 47, Power, Will 48 – 50, Pagenaud, Simon 51 – 70, Power, Will 71 – 77, Dixon, Scott 78 – 105, Pagenaud, Simon 106, Power, Will 107 – 111, Dixon, Scott 112 – 114, Power, Will 115 – 128

NTT IndyCar Series point standings: Newgarden 535, Rossi 500, Pagenaud 495, Dixon 483, Power 407, Hunter-Reay 344, Rahal 334, Sato 331, Rosenqvist 304, Bourdais 300.

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