Juan Montoya cracks comeback win at Pocono

Speedcafe.com

Monday 7th July, 2014 - 8:45am

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Juan Montoya cracks maiden comeback win after 13 years away from IndyCar

Juan Montoya cracks maiden comeback win after 13 years away from IndyCar

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya scored his maiden IndyCar win since making a belated comeback to American open-wheel racing by claiming the Pocono 500.

Montoya, who 13 years ago turned to F1 and then to NASCAR following a brief IndyCar career, returned to the American open wheel series this year with Team Penske.

The 38-year-old veteran, a one-time team-mate with Craig Lowndes in European Formula 3000, became the eighth different driver to win pole and a race in 11 rounds this year.

In a memorable Penske one-two, Montoya beat home Helio Castroneves by 2.3s with his countryman Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport) claiming third.

Australian Ryan Briscoe ended up in fourth, his best finish since returning full-time with Chip Ganassi.

It is the first win for Montoya since winning the Surfers Paradise IndyCar race in 2000, the same year he claimed the Indy 500 for Ganassi.

Ganassi stalwart Scott Dixon, the reigning IndyCar Series champion, finished fifth.

“I want to thank Roger for believing in me after so many years out of an Indy car,” Montoya said.

“This is fantastic. Things were going good, but you never know when you’re going to get a win. We did the right things and got the win, and we’re at a good place at this point of the season.”

It was the third-fastest in IndyCar history (202.402mph, 325.73km/h) and the first 500-mile race with an average speed above 200 mph.

In a significant championship development, Castroneves moves to equal lead on points with his Penske team-mate Will Power, who had led the race for 69 laps but again incurred a drive-through penalty.

Power’s effort was further hampered when he had to stop for a splash of fuel 11 laps from the finish before being classified in 10th place.

Montoya’s 12th IndyCar win sees him move into fourth place on the points, 55 points away from his Penske team-mates.

Simon Pagenaud was sixth and moves up into third place on the standings after a horror run for Ryan Hunter-Reay who was classified in 18th after suspension dramas.

Matthew Brabham finished fourth in Indy Lights race at his Pocono debut

Matthew Brabham finished fourth in Indy Lights race at his Pocono debut

Meanwhile, Matthew Brabham finished fourth in the Indy Lights race for the Andretti Autosport team on his debut at the difficult Pocono tri-oval.

In compressed schedule which saw the practice, qualifying and the race held on one day, Brabham lost momentum on a restart, losing touch with the lead bunch.

He was slapped with a blocking penalty to compound a frustrating race.

“It wasn’t the race I really wanted. It was kind of boring just sitting going around and around on my own for a little bit,” Brabham said.

“I think I had a really fast car at the start, and I was able to quickly catch the leaders.

“After the restart, I just backed out because I got a little nervous of the aero push, and I lost too much.

“Once I lost touch with the leaders in the tow, I couldn’t get back up there and didn’t have quite enough speed to really challenge and catch up.

The ninth round is on the Toronto street circuit from July 18-20.

See below for full race results

1

Juan Pablo Montoya

Dallara/Chevrolet

200

2:28:13.1798

2

Hélio Castroneves

Dallara/Chevrolet

200

2.3403

3

Carlos Muñoz

Dallara/Honda

200

2.9653

4

Ryan Briscoe

Dallara/Chevrolet

200

3.8431

5

Scott Dixon

Dallara/Chevrolet

200

4.6933

6

Simon Pagenaud

Dallara/Honda

200

6.0105

7

Mikhail Aleshin

Dallara/Honda

200

8.3658

8

Josef Newgarden

Dallara/Honda

200

8.9506

9

Marco Andretti

Dallara/Honda

200

9.4477

10

Will Power

Dallara/Chevrolet

200

17.2301

11

Tony Kanaan

Dallara/Chevrolet

200

22.0701

12

James Hinchcliffe

Dallara/Honda

199

1 Lap

13

Ed Carpenter

Dallara/Chevrolet

199

1 Lap

14

Justin Wilson

Dallara/Honda

199

1 Lap

15

Sebastian Saavedra

Dallara/Chevrolet

199

1 Lap

16

Sébastien Bourdais

Dallara/Chevrolet

199

1 Lap

17

Charlie Kimball

Dallara/Chevrolet

198

2 Laps

18

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Dallara/Honda

181

19 Laps

19

Graham Rahal

Dallara/Honda

157

Electrical

20

Carlos Huertas

Dallara/Honda

89

Electrical

21

Takuma Sato

Dallara/Honda

25

Electrical

22

Jack Hawksworth

Dallara/Honda

0

DNS

See below for full points

1

Will Power

446

2

Hélio Castroneves

446

3

Simon Pagenaud

402

4

Juan Pablo Montoya

391

5

Ryan Hunter-Reay

388

6

Carlos Muñoz

340

7

Marco Andretti

325

8

Scott Dixon

297

9

Ryan Briscoe

285

10

Sébastien Bourdais

271

11

Tony Kanaan

267

12

James Hinchcliffe

266

13

Mikhail Aleshin

263

14

Justin Wilson

253

15

Charlie Kimball

239

16

Jack Hawksworth

227

17

Carlos Huertas

224

18

Josef Newgarden

220

19

Graham Rahal

202

20

Sebastian Saavedra

196

21

Takuma Sato

189

22

Mike Conway

152

23

Ed Carpenter

138

24

Oriol Servià

88

25

Kurt Busch

80

26

J.R. Hildebrand

66

27

Sage Karam

57

28

James Davison

34

29

Jacques Villeneuve

29

30

Alex Tagliani

28

31

Luca Filippi

24

32

Townsend Bell

22

33

Pippa Mann

21

34

Martin Plowman

18

35

Buddy Lazier

11

36

Franck Montagny

8