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Back-to-Back Top-10's for Montoya in Houston

June 30, 2014




THE RACE

Verizon IndyCar Series
Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston – Race 2
Houston, Tex.
June 28, 2014

THE RESULTS

The No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Driver: Juan Pablo Montoya
Starting Position: 14
Finish Position: 7
Driver's Points Position: 5

No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Driver: Helio Castroneves
Starting Position: 1
Finish Position: 21
Driver's Points Position: 2

The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
Driver: Will Power
Starting Position: 18
Finish Position: 11
Driver's Points Position: 1   

THE RACE REVIEW
    
Juan Pablo Montoya
No. 2 Verizon Team Penske  Dallara/Chevrolet    

· Montoya started the second race of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Priix of Houston doubleheader  from the 14th position after posting a time of 1:00:8328 seconds in the Sunday morning qualifying session.

· The 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner radioed that he was happy with the handling of his Verizon Chevrolet, evident by the fact that he was turning the second-fastest laps of anyone in the top 10 early in the event.

· The first pit stop of the day on lap 25 saw race strategist Jon Bouslog call for a swap to the Firestone “red” alternate tires for the primary “black” rubber on the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevy.

· Montoya continued to make his way through the field as he was scored in the seventh positon at lap 39. He made his way up to the second spot at lap 57, his highest place in the running order on the day.

· After restarting the race from the sixth position with less than 10 laps remaining, Montoya waged a spirited battle with the No. 83 car driven by Charlie Kimball and the No. 98 machine of Jack Hawksworth.

· With one lap remaining, Montoya felt a tire going down while he was battling for his second top-five finish of the weekend  and, as a result, he crossed the finish line in the seventh position.

· Despite finishing outside the top five, Montoya earned back-to-back top-10 results following his second-place effort on Saturday in Houston.

· With the result, Montoya remained in the fifth position in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, now 116 points behind leader and Team Penske teammate, Will Power.
    

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING  

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA

YOU WORKED HARD ON AND PUT ON A GOOD SHOW WHILE EARNING ANOTHER TOP-10 FINISH SUNDAY. HOW MUCH FUN WAS THAT?

“That was a fun day. The No. 2 Verizon Chevy was really good. It was good on both the ‘red’ tires and ‘black’ tires. We were in position there at the end. The racing was really hard right there. That was a good learning experience for me and I’ll know how hard I can race the next time I’m in that situation. Very good points day for us. Now we go to Pocono where I have a lot of experience.”

 

THE RACE REVIEW

Helio Castroneves
No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet


· Castroneves won his 40th career IndyCar pole position as he captured the Verizon P1 Pole Award for the second race of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on Sunday morning. His 40th career pole ties him for fourth place on the all-time list with Team Penske mentor, Rick Mears. It was the 450th pole earned in the history of Team Penske.

· As the 90-lap race began, Castroneves quickly settled into rythym as he built his race lead to one second over the second place car chasing him.

· After pitting for Firestone “black” primary tires on lap 31, Castroneves remained in the lead as the pit stops cycled through.

· After losing the lead to eventual race winner Simon Pagenaud on lap 49, Castroneves began his assault to reclaim the lead from the driver of the No. 77 machine.

· While trying to setup Pagenaud for a pass back to the front, Castroneves was involved in an incident with the No. 11 car of Sebastian Bourdais, who was running third. After the No. 3 Pennzoil Chevy made contact with the wall, the damage suffered was enough to retire Castroneves from Sunday’s event as he was credited with a 21st-place finish.

· Despite the result, Castroneves still holds down the second spot in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings and he continues to trail Power by 39 points, the same deficit he faced entering the Houston race weekend.
    

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

HELIO CASTRONEVES

ON SUNDAY’S FRUSTRATING FINISH

"The Pennzoil Chevrolet was awesome.I’m frustrated a little bit. I am upset, yes, because we had a great car. There was a lot of racing left to go and we were in the garage. There was so much racing left that I wasn’t even panicking or anything like that. But it is what it is and I’ll move on and see what happens. But the Pennzoil car was awesome. Chevy has great power and it’s just a shame.”

 

THE RACE REVIEW
    
Will Power
No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet    

· Will Power began Saturday’s race from the 18th position based on his lap of 1:01:1423 during the morning qualifying session.

· Power was the only driver in the field to begin the race on new Firestone “red” alternate tires that provide the driver with more grip early in a run.

· With his Firestone “reds” Power was able to quickly make his way through the field as he was scored in the third position by the 33rd lap.

· After a pit stop for “black” primary tires and fuel on lap 29, Power continued to keep the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet at the front of the field.

· Power, who has claimed 21 career victories on road and temporary street courses, looked to be in position to challenge for another win before suffering a mechanical failure over the final laps of the race.

· With the handling of the No. 12 Verizon Chevy gone due to the mechanical issue, Power dropped from third to 11th place over the final three laps.

· With the result, Power still leads the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings as he will carry a 39-point advantage over Castroneves into next week’s race at Pocono.
    

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

WILL POWER

YOU FOUGH REALLY HARD TODAY. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE RACE?

"I had a great car today; passed a lot of cars. We had a great first pit sequence with the Verizon Chevy. We were in position for a good day, considering where we qualified. We were going to maximize our points and we had a parts malfunction with two laps to go. It’s the same part that malfunctioned on two other cars at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. I feel bad for Verizon and all the sponsors. We fought really hard all day with nothing to show for it. We have a nice lead in the points but we need to get back on track a little bit at Pocono.”