Montoya Wins From the Pole in Pocono INDYCAR 500
July 7, 2014
Verizon IndyCar Series
No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
THE RACE REVIEW
Juan Pablo Montoya
No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish
· In Sunday’s Pocono INDYCAR 500, Montoya relinquished the lead to Team Penske teammate Will Power on the opening lap as Montoya settled into the second position.
· Mindful of fuel consumption early on, race strategist Jon Bouslog radioed to Montoya that he was getting great fuel mileage, which would allow the team to execute its pre-race strategy.
· Montoya brought the PPG Chevy to pit road for the first pit stop of the day at lap 32 for four Firestone tires, fuel and a front-wing adjustment.
· Throughout the 200-lap event, Montoya never fell below the fourth position in the running order.
· With 34 laps remaining in the 500-mile race, Montoya narrowly escaped a bigger incident as his car made light contact with Power’s machine while making a pass for the lead. The resulting damage to the front wing caused a bit of an understeer condition on the PPG Chevy for the remainder of the race.
· Montoya made his final pit stop of the day at lap 187, setting the team up for a strong run to the finish. After returning to the track in the third position, Montoya reclaimed the lead again on lap 197 after the competitors in front of him on a different fuel strategy had to pit. Montoya led the final four laps for his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory since winning at Gateway International Raceway in 2000.
· Montoya led a total of 45 laps on the day for his 15th career series win in 52 starts. He also became the first driver to win from the pole position in the 2014 season.
· With the finish, Montoya moved up to fourth in the championship standings, now 55 points behind Team Penske teammates, Power and Castroneves, who are tied for the series lead.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WIN AGAIN IN THE VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES?
“First off all, I want to thank Verizon, IndyCar, PPG, Chevrolet and everyone who supports this car and Team Penske. I want thank Roger (Penske) for believing in me after how many years out of open-wheel, coming back and believing I could do it. Here we are. It’s awesome that we could do it. You have to be patient and you have to be smart. On days like this, if you do everything right the opportunity will come.”
No. 3 Hitachi
· Quickly moving his way through the field, Castroneves was scored in the fourth position by lap 30.
· While fighting his way through traffic, Castroneves radioed that he was dealing with an understeer condition in the high-speed Pocono Raceway corners. Race strategist Roger Penske called for a front-wing adjustment on the team’s first pit stop of the day at lap 31 to help resolve the issue.
· Like the drivers of the other two Team Penske Chevrolets, Castroneves found himself at the front of the field for most of the day. At one point Team Penske occupied the top three spots in the running order.
· After entering pit road for the final time at lap 185, while running in the second position, Castroneves returned to the track in fourth place. He promptly turned his fastest lap of the race as he made his way back to the second position before crossing the finish line.
· The result marked the sixth top-five finish of the year for Castroneves. He improved one position in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings and is now tied with Power for the series lead.
DESCRIBE YOUR RACE AND HOW IT FEELS TO BE TIED FOR THE SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
“We made some changes to the Hitachi Chevrolet and copied my teammate’s setup. Congratulations to Montoya! Are you kidding? This guy is unbelievable. Coming back after 15 years and winning a race. He did a great job. As soon as he signed, I knew he would be an asset for us. I’m glad. I’m happy with a 1-2 finish and I can’t believe we are now tied in the championship. It’s really unbelievable. It was a tough race. You have to be really patient, and that’s what we did.”
THE RACE REVIEW
· As the race began, Power quickly passed his teammate Montoya for the race lead. He led 47 of the first 49 laps in a race that saw the first 158 circuits completed without interruption of a caution flag.
· Power dropped to the second position at lap 52 in an attempt to save fuel and to determine how his Chevrolet handled in “dirty air.”
· Establishing the Verizon Chevy as one of the strongest cars in the field, Power led four times for a total of 69 laps on the day.
· Unfortunately for Power, his chances to claim his third win of the season ended when he was penalized for blocking Castroneves with 32 laps remaining as he was forced to serve a drive-through penalty at lap 176.
· After making his way back up to the third position, Power had to make his final pit stop of the day at lap 189 and he lost a lot of track position as many other competitors had already made their final stops.
· Returning to the track in the 11th position, Power was able to pick up one more spot before crossing the finish line in 10th place. It marked his ninth top-10 finish in the 11 races completed in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series.
· With the result, Power is now tied with Castroneves for the Verizon IndyCar Series points lead as the series moves to Iowa Speedway next weekend.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
TALK ABOUT THE FINISH AND WHAT HAPPENED IN THE INCIDENT THAT RESULTED IN A BLOCKING PENALTY?
“It was a tough result. The Verizon Chevy was definitely fast. I actually let Helio go and went wide on the brakes and touched the brakes. I move, I move, I move… I was heading that way, heading over, over and over. I mean, he is my teammate. So it was another penalty and other drive-through and another really good opportunity lost for the Verizon Chevy team.”
Back to previous page.
Copyright ©2015 Team Penske. All rights reserved.