Rahal scores blistering win as Montoya stumbles

Speedcafe.com

Monday 3rd August, 2015 - 6:48am

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Graham Rahal's Mid-Ohio victory has seen him draw within nine points of series leader Juan Montoya

Graham Rahal’s Mid-Ohio victory has seen him draw within nine points of series leader Juan Montoya

Hometown hero Graham Rahal has scorched to the finest win of his career by claiming the Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Rahal haired away to a 3.4s win after a late race caution was thrown with 10 of the 90 laps remaining.

After being challenged for the lead under braking on the restart with seven to go by Justin Wilson, Rahal quickly burst clear to a sizeable lead.

Wilson was left in his wake to finish second ahead of Penske’s Simon Pagenaud with Mid-Ohio specialist Scott Dixon in fourth.

The victory has seen Rahal reduce a 42-point deficit to Juan Montoya to just nine points after the Mid-Ohio native collected a bonus point for leading the most laps.

“Honestly other than the Indy 500 this is the biggest race of the year for me,” Rahal said after repeating what his dad Bobby Rahal did in 1985 and 1986.

“The hometown crowd was amazing and I appreciate the support so much.

“This is unreal for me.”

Montoya, who had been in a powerful position mid-race, scavenged a couple of places on the restart to finish 11th with his Team Penske stablemates Will Power in 14th and Helio Castroneves in 15th.

Earlier Ganassi’s Sage Karam controversially spun on his own which brought out a yellow and drew the ire of Montoya who was caught redhanded by the caution as he was about to pit.

“And, you know, it’s kind of weird that all the Ganassi cars pitted and Sage spins. So it is what it is,” Montoya said.

“I don’t know if it was on purpose or not but I heard the spin was pretty dodgy.

“Karma is a bitch so we’ll see.”

The incident is now the centre of a post-race review by IndyCar.

Ryan Briscoe was 18th as the series prepares for the penultimate round at Pocono on August 23.

VIDEO: Race Highlights

See below for full results

Pos. Car # Driver Manufacturer Laps Running / Reason Out
1 15 Graham Rahal Honda 90 Running
2 25 Justin Wilson Honda 90 Running
3 22 Simon Pagenaud Chevrolet 90 Running
4 9 Scott Dixon Chevrolet 90 Running
5 10 Tony Kanaan Chevrolet 90 Running
6 19 Tristan Vautier Honda 90 Running
7 28 Ryan Huinter-Reay Honda 90 Running
8 41 Jack Hawksworth Honda 90 Running
9 26 Carlos Munoz Honda 90 Running
10 27 Marco Andretti Honda 90 Running
11 2 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 90 Running
12 98 Gabby Chaves (R) Honda 90 Running
13 67 Josef Newgarden Chevrolet 90 Running
14 1 Will Power Chevrolet 90 Running
15 3 Helio Castroneves Chevrolet 90 Running
16 7 James Jakes Honda 90 Running
17 11 Sebastien Bourdais Chevrolet 90 Running
18 5 Ryan Briscoe Honda 90 Running
19 4 Stefano Coletti (R) Chevrolet 90 Running
20 18 Rodolfo Gonzalez (R) Honda 90 Running
21 20 Luca Filippi Chevrolet 89 Off Course
22 8 Sage Karam (R) Chevrolet 89 Running
23 83 Charlie Kimball Chevrolet 87 Running
24 14 Takuma Sato Honda 60 Contact

Full series standings

Pos

Driver

Points

1

Juan Pablo Montoya

465

2

Graham Rahal

456

3

Scott Dixon

431

4

Hélio Castroneves

407

5

Will Power

406

6

Sébastien Bourdais

379

7

Marco Andretti

378

8

Josef Newgarden

370

9

Tony Kanaan

354

10

Simon Pagenaud

329

11

Ryan Hunter-Reay

304

12

Carlos Muñoz

303

13

Charlie Kimball

282

14

Takuma Sato

246

15

Gabby Chaves

229

16

James Jakes

227

17

Jack Hawksworth

226

18

Sage Karam

180

19

Stefano Coletti

171

20

Luca Filippi

170

21

Tristan Vautier

152

22

James Hinchcliffe

129

23

Ryan Briscoe

120

24

Justin Wilson

92

25

Conor Daly

81

26

Ed Carpenter

75

27

Simona de Silvestro

66

28

Sebastian Saavedra

61

29

Pippa Mann

59

30

J.R. Hildebrand

57

31

Rodolfo González

50

32

Francesco Dracone

38

33

Townsend Bell

32

34

Carlos Huertas

31

35

Alex Tagliani

27

36

Oriol Servià

10

36

Bryan Clauson

10

36

James Davison

10