Team Penske’s Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet took his fourth win of the Verizon IndyCar Series season in Pocono on Monday.
The Australian has won in Detroit, Road America, Toronto and now Pocono in 2016 and has now closed the gap in the race for the championship to 20 points to his team mate Simon Pagenaud.
Power heads to Texas this weekend for the Firestone 600 on 477 points with just three races remaining this year. Speaking following the race, Power commented by saying:
Well, I felt like this place owed us. We’ve led a lot of laps here. The Verizon Chevrolet started off really, really difficult to drive. We adjusted on it all day and for the second half of the race, the car was just awesome, awesome. Awesome in traffic, really fast. Just a lot of fun to drive. The Firestone tires were really good today. Very consistent for the whole stint. Just lost a little at the end there, so thank you Firestone, as always awesome tires and very reliable. Mikhail (Aleshin) was giving me a lot of heat there at the end. I was like, ‘Man is he going to get me?’ He was close. That is as good as it gets. No mistakes. Great stops. As an overall team effort. That was as good of a day you could possible get. Thanks to my team! It was a good points day. We are chipping away at it and obviously there is still a lot to go. Now we will give it everything. We will give it everything because we really want to win this championship. Especially after such a rough start to the year and the first half of the year where I was feeling horrible and could hardly complete a race physically. We are really coming back strong.
Juan Pablo Montoya in the No.2 Hum by Verizon Chevrolet came through the field from 15th place to end the race inside the top ten in eighth place.
Speaking following the race Montoya commented by saying:
The hum by Verizon Chevrolet ran well for most of the race. We had some problems with understeer and that made for a tough day. Things didn’t turn out the way we would have liked it to, as we definitely hoped for better results. I’m very proud of the team and how they pulled together the whole weekend and throughout today. We will continue to hold our heads up and look towards the next race in Texas.
Helio Castroneves in the No.3 Hitachi Chevrolet started the race from fourth place on the grid but was forced to retire from the following a nasty accident in the pit-lane. The Brazilian was classified in 19th place and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It’s just a shame. The Hitachi Chevy was really having a good day and we just had another good pit stop when I was coming out of the pits. All of a sudden there was a car on top of me. It was a little strange to be honest. The Team Penske guys worked really hard to try and fix the car but there was a lot of damage. It’s certainly unfortunate because this will hurt us in the championship battle but our team will never give up. We’ll move on to Texas where, fortunately, we’ve had a lot of success. I’m glad nobody got hurt in that thing on pit road. IndyCar does a lot to keep us safe.
Series points leader Simon Pagenaud was forced to retire from the race after hitting the wall hard going into the inside retaining wall and was classified in 19th place in the No.22 Menards Chevrolet as a result.
Speaking following the race the Frenchman commented by saying:
he car bottomed and I lost the steering and went straight to the wall. Really weird because I had been bottoming out but not to that extent. It felt okay leaving the pits. Turn 1 was fine. Turn 2 was fine. I don’t know. That one’s weird but it’s definitely a bit of a shame. It’s really disappointing because the Menards Chevrolet wasn’t great, but was good enough to score some points. There’s nothing we can do about it now, so we’ll move on to Texas. I don’t think it changes anything. We’ve gone all out all season and that’s not going to change.