Indycar: Power recovers from a lap down to win at Pocono

Autosport

Will Power led a Penske one-two in the Pocono IndyCar race, after a late strategy gamble allowed him to turn around his fortunes.

A front wing problem had forced Power to pit out of sequence and go a lap down in the opening stages.

His trouble were further compounded by rear wing damage, which he sustained in contact with Charlie Kimball.

While Power struggled at first, Chip Ganassi Racing duo Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan were the early frontrunners.

Also in the lead battle was Josef Newgarden, who made his way up from 14th on the grid, and Ryan Hunter-Reay who came back into the top five from 21st after suffering a crash in qualifying that nearly ruled him out of the race.

A yellow for a big crash between James Hinchcliffe and JR Hildebrand midway through the race at Turn 1 gave Penske chance to pit Power to have his rear wing damage fixed and get back onto the lead lap.

At the restart Power worked his way up to ninth, which put him in clean air as the leaders made their penultimate pitstops.

Penske elected to keep Power out for a few more laps, which he used to put in the fastest lap of the race. When he emerged from the pits, that netted him a 4.5-second lead heading into the final stint.

Dixon, Hunter-Reay and Kanaan gave chase, with Dixon first of the leaders to make a final pitstop with 20 laps to go.

Penske instantly reacted by bringing Power in on the next lap, allowing him to emerge as the effective leader.

Dixon meanwhile lost ground to Newgarden and Alexander Rossi as they pitted a few laps later, then needed to save fuel with a handful of laps left.

That set up a close finish between Power, Newgarden, and Rossi, with the Penske team-mates going wheel-to-wheel on occasion.

Power was just able to hold on and take Penske’s 196th IndyCar win by half a second.

Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud was not able to challenge the leaders for most of race, with Kanaan in fifth ahead of Dixon.

Hunter-Reay dropped back to eighth behind fellow qualifying crasher Helio Castroneves.

Graham Rahal and Carlos Munoz rounded out the top 10.

Polesitter Takuma Sato ended the race only 13th, having suffered with balance issues that caused him to drop back early on.

Race result

POSDRIVERTEAMCARLAPSGAP
1Will PowerTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet2002h43m16.6005s
2Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet2000.5268s
3Alexander RossiAndretti HertaDallara/Honda2000.7112s
4Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet2000.8770s
5Tony KanaanChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda2002.9056s
6Scott DixonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda2003.3544s
7Helio CastronevesTeam PenskeDallara/Chevrolet2003.7273s
8Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda2004.0833s
9Graham RahalRahal Letterman LaniganDallara/Honda2004.6884s
10Carlos MunozAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet2006.9330s
11Marco AndrettiAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda2009.4607s
12Ed CarpenterEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet20010.4503s
13Takuma SatoAndretti AutosportDallara/Honda20011.2388s
14Conor DalyAJ Foyt EnterprisesDallara/Chevrolet20019.8050s
15Gabby ChavesHarding RacingDallara/Chevrolet20020.6790s
16Charlie KimballChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda20024.4523s
17Ed JonesDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda20025.0689s
18Max ChiltonChip Ganassi RacingDallara/Honda129Mechanical
19J.R. HildebrandEd Carpenter RacingDallara/Chevrolet124Contact
20James HinchcliffeSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda124Contact
21Sebastian SaavedraSchmidt Peterson MotorsportsDallara/Honda114Contact
22Esteban GutierrezDale Coyne RacingDallara/Honda23Contact

Drivers’ standings

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Josef Newgarden494
2Scott Dixon476
3Helio Castroneves472
4Simon Pagenaud468
5Will Power452
6Graham Rahal418
7Takuma Sato399
8Alexander Rossi394
9Tony Kanaan351
10James Hinchcliffe327
11Ryan Hunter-Reay322
12Max Chilton322
13Marco Andretti306
14Ed Jones298
15J.R. Hildebrand288
16Carlos Munoz256
17Charlie Kimball237
18Mikhail Aleshin237
19Conor Daly215
20Spencer Pigot165
21Ed Carpenter160
22Sebastien Bourdais136
23Gabby Chaves98
24Juan Pablo Montoya93
25Esteban Gutierrez91
26Sebastian Saavedra61
27Oriol Servia61
28Fernando Alonso47
29Pippa Mann32
30Jay Howard24
31Zach Veach23
32Sage Karam23
33James Davison21
34Jack Harvey17
35Tristan Vautier15
36Buddy Lazier14

Indycar: Power recovers from a lap down to win at Pocono

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