LONG POND, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Will Power is back in victory lane after winning Sunday’s rain-shortened NTT IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. The victory was Power’s first of the 2019 season and third at Pocono.
“Absolutely over the moon to finally win a race this season,” said Power. “I was very determined. The car was very fast as well, which is very important around here. When my spotter said, ‘the rain’s coming’, I just turned the fuel up and went as hard as I could.”
The yellow flag came out on lap 126 for lightning within 7-miles of the racetrack and was red-flagged on lap 128-of-200. Severe weather quickly followed, forcing IndyCar officials to suspend the remainder of the race.
Power’s No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet passed PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon on lap 116 after green flag stops for both drivers and pulled out to a 6.1-second lead before the caution flew because of the weather.
Dixon, who was leading when he was passed by Power, said his car changed after the final pit stop.
“The car was pretty quick,” said Dixon. “I’m not sure really what happened on that last stint. We put more front wing in and actually put more pressure in the right rear tire and couldn’t even turn the car. We went from running 213’s, 214’s to struggling to do 208’s (mph), just had so much understeer.”
Power’s teammate Simon Pagenaud finished third, followed by Dale Coyne Racing’s Santino Ferrucci. Pagenaud leap-frogged Ferrucci on lap 109 after both drivers green-flag stops.
“It’s a great day,” said Pagenaud. “Very happy for Team Penske to get another win here at Pocono. Overall it’s a pretty good points day for us on the 22-car. We’ll take it, go to the next one and keep pushing.”
The race was marred by a first lap crash the sent NTT Data Services Chip Ganassi Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist to Lehigh Valley Hospital for further observation of non-life-threatening injuries. Rosenqvist was checked out and released.
Just got cleared from the hospital. Definitely feel lucky escaping without any serious injuries after visiting the catch fence there… Good to see @scottdixon9 back in the championship hunt! On to Gateway next weekend 🤜🏻 #NTTDataRacing #Pocono
— Felix Rosenqvist (@FRosenqvist) August 18, 2019
The accident was triggered when Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato made contact with Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi, sending Rossi into his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay who was on the inside as Sato and Hunter-Reay split Rossi heading toward turn two. All three cars came back across the track collecting Rosenqvist and Arrow Schmidt Petersen Motorsports James Hinchcliffe.
“I feel bad for Pocono,” said Dixon. “The crowd today at the start of the race was fantastic. I think the drivers in a lot of those situations can do a better job.”
“It’s a great oval for us,” said Power. “The crowd was great today. It’s obviously an unfortunate accident that could happen anywhere.”
The next NTT IndyCar Series race is the Bommarito Automotive Group 500, Saturday night August 24th at 8:00 p.m.