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.
Team Penske’s Will Power Wins GMR Grand Prix Pole Position
SPEEDWAY, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Will Power is on the Pole Position for Saturday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Power’s fast lap of 110.1779-seconds (125.116 mph) was good enough to earn the former series Champion the 58th pole position of his career.
“We left nothing on the table in that lap in the Verizon Chevrolet,” said Power. “I knew that (Jack) Harvey had a pretty good time up there, so we put our best set on for the last run, and I just gave it my all. Fortunately, it was enough.”
Power’s pole win spoiled a terrific lap by Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey (1:10.3653/124.783), who will start second in the SiriusXM/AutoNation Honda.
“I thought we were pretty good in practice one,” said Harvey. “Everybody at Meyer Shank Racing has been working their butt’s off to give us a really good car. The car clearly was really good to be on the front row, which we haven’t done before. We’re just really happy and hopefully will have a great race.”
Colton Herta will start in the third position after a fast-lap of 110.5197-seconds.
Graham Rahal will line up fourth in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda, his best qualifying effort in the GMR Grand Prix.
“The Fifth Third Bank car feels strong,” said Rahal. “We know we race better than we qualify so it’s a good start for us. We certainly didn’t have Will’s (Power) speed. We’ll take fourth and go race from there.”
Arrow McLaren SP rookie Oliver Askew will start fifth after a fast lap of 110.8404-seconds (123.946).
“We made some really good changes after the morning practice,” said Askew, the 2019 IndyLight’s Champion. “It was just flawless. I felt at one with the car and those are some really good feelings.”
Starting positions six through ten include two series Champions and a surprise or two.
Defending and two-time series Champion Josef Newgarden will start sixth after a tough start to his fast lap on the Firestone Red (Alternate) tires.
“I came out of the pits and just had a huge lock-up to start the lap going into the first corner,” said Newgarden. “It just kind of snuck up on me. It hadn’t done that all day.”
Fifth Third Bank Extends Partnership with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
BROWNSBURG, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Fifth Third Bank is extending their partnership with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing through the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
Fifth Third Bank will be the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda at the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America and the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Fifth Third will also have an enhanced associate sponsor presence in key markets where the INDYCAR SERIES races including Indianapolis, Monterey California and St. Petersburg Florida.
“When this relationship began, I already had the utmost respect for Fifth Third Bank as a company,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “As each year progresses, we continue to be inspired not only by how they conduct their business but also how they support the communities in which they service. Fifth Third Bank is able to uniquely leverage the partnership with RLL to enhance their commercial banking position with clients across the INDYCAR paddock.”
Fifth Third Bank first joined RLL in 2016 as an associate sponsor and the partnership has grown as the two organizations have continued to build up and pursue new collaborative business-to-business opportunities.
“Motorsports is such a vital part of the Indianapolis culture and as a corporate citizen Fifth Third Bank believes greatly in supporting the sport at the very heart of our state,” said Kevin Hipskind, Fifth Third Bank Regional President. “Our partnership with the elite Rahal Letterman Lanigan team continues to create even more opportunity for long-term community impact and meaningful business relationships for the Bank. We look forward to three more heart-racing years of collaboration and an exciting NTT INDYCAR SERIES ahead.”
The 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES resumes on Saturday July 4th with the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The event is part of a historic INDYCAR/NASCAR tripleheader at the Brickyard.
Citrone/Buhl Autosport with RLL Getting Ready For Debut At GMR Grand Prix At Indy
BROWNSBURG, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Citrone/Buhl Autosport with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) is getting ready for their debut at the GMR Grand Prix, July 4th on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in an INDYCAR at the GMR Grand Prix,” said Spencer Pigot, driver of the No. 45 Citrone/Buhl Autosport with RLL Honda. “It’s obviously been a very different season this year so it’s exciting that we’re finally getting back to racing at IMS.”
The team announced on Tuesday that Shield Cleansers will server as the co-primary sponsor along with Mi-Jack. Shield Cleansers is a new product line for RLL team partner Digital Ally, a company that develops, manufactures and markets advanced video recording and other critical safety products for law enforcement, emergency management, fleet safety and security.
“We’re thrilled to not only continue, but expand our relationship with RLL,” said Stan Ross, CEO of Digital Ally. “We can think of no better opportunity to spread the word about our highly effective, less harsh, cleanser line.”
Shield Cleansers, which launched earlier this month, includes a disinfectant/sanitizer that is less harsh than many of the traditional products now widely distributed.
Hypochlorous Acid (HOCI) is the active ingredient of Shield Cleansers. HOCI falls under EPA category IV, which is the safest of the EPA’s toxicity categories. While highly effective as a disinfectant and sanitizer, cleaning crews are not required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when applying and reapplying HOCI.
Also featured on the No. 45 car is EMBRACE Pittsburgh, which you may remember seeing on the virtual No. 45 Honda during the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge. EMBRACE Pittsburgh is a powerful movement conceived and driven by Citrone 33 with the goal of championing mental strength throughout the Pittsburgh region. Program resources include many “skills and drills” focused on learning to reduce daily stress, and to be mindful, empathetic, and accepting of yourself and others.
This will be the second race of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season but it will be the first road course race. Pigot’s best finish on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course was fifth with Ed Carpenter Racing in 2019.
“Originally the first race for us was going to be about half-way through the season but with the schedule changes it’s going to be the first road course race of the year,” said Pigot. “I think that will be an advantage for us as everyone will be on more of a level playing field. We have a great group so the plan is to hit the ground running and be competitive right away.”
The GMR Grand Prix takes place Saturday, July 4 and will be televised live by NBC with race coverage beginning at 12 p.m. ET. The event is part of the historic INDYCAR/NASCAR Doubleheader.