Power takes comeback win in Pocono IndyCar race

Speedcafe.com

Monday 21st August, 2017 - 8:38am

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Will Power

Will Power has come from a lap down to win the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in a thrilling finish.

Power just managed to beat series leading Team Penske Chevrolet team-mate Josef Newgarden in the 200-lap race, with Andretti Autosport Honda driver Alexander Rossi just behind in third.

A front wing problem had forced the Toowoomba driver to pit out of sequence and go a lap down in the opening stages.

His troubles were further compounded by rear wing damage, which he sustained in contact with Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Honda).

While Power struggled at first, Chip Ganassi Honda duo Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan were the early frontrunners.

Also in the lead battle was Newgarden, who made his way up from 14th on the grid, and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) who came back into the top five from 21st after suffering a crash in qualifying that nearly ruled him out of the race.

A yellow for a big crash between James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Honda) and JR Hildebrand (Ed Carpenter Chevrolet) midway through the race at Turn 1 gave Penske chance to pit Power to have his rear wing damage fixed and get back onto the lead lap.

At the restart Power worked his way up to ninth, which put him in clean air as the leaders made their penultimate pitstops.

Penske elected to keep Power out for a few more laps, which he used to put in the fastest lap of the race. When he emerged from the pits, that netted him a 4.5s lead heading into the final stint.

Dixon, Hunter-Reay and Kanaan gave chase, with Dixon first of the leaders to make a final pitstop with 20 laps to go.

Penske instantly reacted by bringing Power in on the next lap, allowing him to emerge as the effective leader.

Dixon meanwhile lost ground to Newgarden and Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) as they pitted a few laps later, then needed to save fuel with a handful of laps left.

That set up a close finish between Power, Newgarden, and Rossi, with the Penske team-mates going wheel-to-wheel on occasion.

Power was just able to hold on and take Penske’s 196th IndyCar win by half a second.

Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske Chevrolet) was not able to challenge the leaders for most of race, with Kanaan in fifth ahead of Dixon.

Hunter-Reay dropped back to eighth behind fellow qualifying crasher Helio Castroneves (Team Penske Chevrolet).

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) and Carlos Muñoz (AJ Foyt Chevrolet) rounded out the top 10.

Polesitter Takuma Sato ended the race only 13th, having suffered balance issues in his Andretti Autosport Honda that caused him to drop back early on.

Newgarden’s finish ahead of Dixon and Castroneves sees him extend his series lead to 18 points with three races remaining this year.

The next of those is this weekend’s (August 25-26 local time) Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Results: Pocono 500

Pos Driver Grid C/A/E/T Laps Race time, gap Laps led Status Pit stops
1 Will Power 5 D/C/C/F 200 2:43:16.6005 34 Running 10
2 Josef Newgarden 14 D/C/C/F 200 +0.5268 4 Running 7
3 Alexander Rossi 6 D/H/H/F 200 +0.7112 44 Running 6
4 Simon Pagenaud 2 D/C/C/F 200 +0.8770 Running 6
5 Tony Kanaan 4 D/H/H/F 200 +2.9056 32 Running 6
6 Scott Dixon 9 D/H/H/F 200 +3.3544 51 Running 6
7 Helio Castroneves 20 D/C/C/F 200 +3.7273 Running 6
8 Ryan Hunter-Reay 21 D/H/H/F 200 +4.0833 12 Running 6
9 Graham Rahal 7 D/H/H/F 200 +4.6884 9 Running 6
10 Carlos Munoz 18 D/C/C/F 200 +6.9330 Running 7
11 Marco Andretti 16 D/H/H/F 200 +9.4607 9 Running 7
12 Ed Carpenter 22 D/C/C/F 200 +10.4503 Running 6
13 Takuma Sato 1 D/H/H/F 200 +11.2388 Running 6
14 Conor Daly 17 D/C/C/F 200 +19.8050 Running 9
15 Gabby Chaves 8 D/C/C/F 200 +20.6790 Running 8
16 Charlie Kimball 3 D/H/H/F 200 +24.4523 Running 7
17 Ed Jones (R) 11 D/H/H/F 200 +25.0689 Running 6
18 Max Chilton 10 D/H/H/F 129 +71 laps Mechanical 8
19 JR Hildebrand 19 D/C/C/F 124 +76 laps 2 Contact 4
20 James Hinchcliffe 12 D/H/H/F 124 +76 laps 3 Contact 4
21 Sebastian Saavedra 15 D/H/H/F 114 +86 laps Contact 3
22 Esteban Gutierrez (R) 13 D/H/H/F 23 +177 laps Contact 1

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

Championship points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Josef Newgarden 494
2 Scott Dixon 476
3 Helio Castroneves 472
4 Simon Pagenaud 468
5 Will Power 452
6 Graham Rahal 418
7 Takuma Sato 399
8 Alexander Rossi 394
9 Tony Kanaan 351
10 James Hinchcliffe 327
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay 322
12 Max Chilton 322
13 Marco Andretti 306
14 Ed Jones 298
15 JR Hildebrand 288
16 Carlos Munoz 256
17 Charlie Kimball 237
18 Mikhail Aleshin 237
19 Conor Daly 215
20 Spencer Pigot 165
21 Ed Carpenter 160
22 Sebastien Bourdais 136
23 Gabby Chaves 98
24 Juan Pablo Montoya 93
25 Esteban Gutierrez 91
26 Sebastian Saavedra 61
27 Oriol Servia 61
28 Fernando Alonso 47
29 Pippa Mann 32
30 Jay Howard 24
31 Zach Veach 23
32 Sage Karam 23
33 James Davison 21
34 Jack Harvey 17
35 Tristan Vautier 15
36 Buddy Lazier 14