Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report - Road America

June 26, 2016

Track:   Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. (4.048-mile, 14-turn road course)
Race:    KOHLER Grand Prix
Date:     June 26, 2016

No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start:  14th
Finish: 7th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  50/50
Laps Led: 0
Points Position:  9th (-116 pts.)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya recovered from a troublesome qualifying effort to wheel the DeVilbiss Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish Sunday at Road America, improving his position in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers' standings. Montoya started mid-pack, but quickly showed his Chevy Dallara was fast, moving up through the field and finding himself solidly inside the top 10 when the day’s only caution flew.  Unfortunately, a lack of push-to-pass boosts and several cars on red tires kept Montoya from advancing forward at the end. Montoya is now ninth in the standings, 116 points off teammate Simon Pagenaud's leading pace.

Quote: "It's hard when you qualify that far back. We had really good pace in the DeVilbiss Chevrolet, but there's nothing you can do to advance that many positions. We executed well. We did make a couple small mistakes in the first run, but we kind of got with the program and got better and better. We had a fun day. It was so exciting to come back to Road America. This place is incredible. It’s just amazing. If anyone complains about the racing today, then they should go watch horse racing or something."

No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start:  5th
Finish: 5th 
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  50/50
Laps Led:  0
Points Position:  2nd (-74 pts.)

Recap: Helio Castroneves and his Hitachi Chevy raced among the leaders all afternoon after starting fifth and recorded a critical top-five finish Sunday despite a late-race penalty that cost him one position. The effort kept him in the thick of the championship race as he moved past Scott Dixon into second place, 74 markers behind teammate and points leader Simon Pagenaud. Castroneves was running fourth as the race approached the finish when he was penalized for blocking and ordered to surrender his position. It was Castroneves' second top-five finish in the last three races. He also finished fifth on June 4 in the first race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.     

Quote: "It was a great day for the Hitachi Chevrolet. We got a solid result and gained some ground in the standings. There may have been a few times where, if we had done something else, we could have come out a little better, but who knows. I'm proud of my guys and can't thank them enough for their hard work. The event here this weekend was spectacular. The fans were just great. I hope we can keep coming back here for years to come."

No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start:  1st (44th-career IndyCar Series pole)
Finish: 1st (27th-career IndyCar Series victory)
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  50/50
Laps Led:  46
Points Position:  3rd (-81 pts.)

Recap: Will Power held off Tony Kanaan's charge during the final laps to with the KOHLER Grand Prix by 0.7429 seconds Sunday at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., behind the wheel of his Verizon Chevrolet. It was Power's 27th career victory, tying him with Johnny Rutherford for 13th on the all-time wins list in the Verizon IndyCar Series. It is the Aussie driver's seventh multi-win season and sixth in his last seven campaigns. Power led a dominating 46 of 50 laps, pushing his career total to 2,999 laps led, passing Rodger Ward for 16th all time. Power's victory led an outstanding performance by Team Penske, which took three of the top seven positions in the first IndyCar race at the historic road course in nine years. Power started from the pole and only relinquished the lead during pit stops. He won the pole on Saturday with a lap of 1:42.2105, the 44th pole of his career -- fifth on the all-time list, three behind Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves. After a restart with seven laps remaining, Power kept Kanaan at bay by reeling off his two-fastest laps of the race in his final two trips around the circuit. The win was the second in succession by Power, who won the second race of Chevrolet Dual in Detroit on June 5. The victory also vaulted Power from seventh to third in the IndyCar championship standings despite missing the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., due to illness.

Quote: "You always dread that late restart, but I thought I'm going to make the absolute most of it in the Verizon Chevy and do the best I can and try to get a jump. I knew I had a few push-to-passes in hand, which I thought before the race is going to be the key here, to keep that for the end, and that's what I did. If I didn't have that, TK was going to -- he would have had a really good shot at getting me. He was very quick, and on reds, too. Very satisfying because I felt like I'm back where I was, and that's a good feeling for me. (Road America) is just a cool, old-school track. There's not many of them around that we go to anymore, and any of the ones that we do go to -- you go to Mid-Ohio there's a big crowd. You come here, it was amazing just walking around on Thursday, there was so many people. But even Friday night I went for a walk through the camping grounds and it was just awesome to see so many people having fun and just so many people, and on your parade lap, it was just such a big crowd, it was crazy. It's great, great for IndyCar."

No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start:  4th
Finish: 13th 
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  50/50
Laps Led:  2
Points Position:  1st (+74 pts.)

Recap: Simon Pagenaud had one of the fastest cars in Sunday's race and had the Menards Chevrolet contending for the win just behind teammate and eventual race winner Will Power before a mechanical issue caused him to slide from second to 13th during the final seven laps. However, Pagenaud still maintains his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings with a 74-point advantage over teammate Helio Castroneves. Pagenaud also clicked off the fastest leader lap of the race -- 138.491 mph on Lap 38 -- and led two laps on the afternoon. After moving past Tony Kanaan and into the second place Pagenaud seemed to be on a march to the front. On the restart following the race's only caution with just six laps to go, Pagenaud didn't have the same power and started to fall back. Team Penske drivers occupy the top three positions in the championship standings: Pagenaud first with 375 points, Castroneves second with 301 points and Power third with 294 points.

Quote: "We were having a really good day, but unfortunately we had a little issue with the engine. We had the Menards Chevy hunting for the win. We had a really good race going in this wonderful setting at Road America. The atmosphere was perfect. The race strategy was perfect. It's tough when you have an opportunity and you can't maximize it in the championship. It's a tough day today, but we'll bounce back. This team is incredible. They give me the best cars every weekend, so we'll just move forward."

Next Race: The Verizon IndyCar Series will return to oval racing July 10 with the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. Qualifying will be telecast on July 9 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Race coverage on the same channels will begin at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 10.