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Will Power battled back from a lap down today to win the Pocono Raceway for the second straight year.

The driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet held off teammate Josef Newgarden by 0.5268 of a second to pick up his third win of the Verizon Indy Car Series season.

It is also Power’s 32nd career Indy car win, breaking a three-way tie with retired greats Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for ninth place on the all-time list.

Power was running in sixth place when he made an unscheduled green-flag pit stop on Lap 66 to replace a front wing assembly. It put the 2014 series champion a lap down, but Power worked his way back onto the lead lap just past the halfway point of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile, three-turn oval.

He led for the first time on Lap 154 benefited from a lightning-quick pit stop on Lap 177 that brought him back on track ahead of the other front-runners. When leader Marco Andretti had to stop for fuel 10 laps from the finish, Power regained first place and held off the charges of Newgarden and Alexander Rossi over the final 10 laps.

By finishing second in the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevrolet, Newgarden retained the championship lead with three races remaining in the 17-race season. Newgarden holds an unofficial 18-point lead over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, who finished sixth today in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda.

Helio Castroneves is third in points, 22 behind Newgarden, after finishing seventh in the race in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.

Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud finished fourth in the race and holds down fourth in the season standings, 26 points behind Newgarden. With the win, Power moved into fifth in the championship, 42 points out of the lead.

The Verizon IndyCar Series is in action on Saturday, Aug. 26 with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline at Gateway Motorsports Park.

source: indycar.com

 

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Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato continued his prowess on IndyCar Series superspeedways, capturing the pole position today for the Pocono race.

Taking the track as the final qualifier – and moments after watching Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay crash on his qualifying attempt – Sato sizzled around the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway oval at 219.639 mph to earn his second pole position this season and seventh of his eight-year Verizon IndyCar Series career.

Sato will lead the 22-car field to the green flag in Sunday’s 200-lap event, the 14th of 17 races on the 2017 schedule.

“I was a little bit worried about Ryan, but I got a good feeling on that warmup lap and I couldn’t believe it,” said Sato, who became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 in May following a thrilling late-lap duel with Helio Castroneves.

“Obviously, the engineers and guys did an incredible job. What an incredible achievement for Andretti Autosport.”

Sato’s late heroics bounced Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud from pole honors. The reigning series champion, driving the No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, averaged 219.395 mph on his run to earn a front-row starting position for the second time in three races.

Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan locked up the second row in qualifying. Kimball was third in the No. 83 Tresiba Honda (219.369 mph), with Kanaan fourth in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda (219.012 mph).

Points leader Josef Newgarden of Team Penske qualified 14th in the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Chevrolet (217.235 mph).

Hunter-Reay is among three drivers unable to complete qualifications attempts who will start from the rear of the grid. Driving the No. 28 DHL Honda, Hunter-Reay spun exiting Turn 3 on his warmup lap, with the left side of the car making hard contact with the SAFER Barrier before the car slid down the track and made secondary contact with the inside wall on the front straight.

Hunter-Reay limped to the INDYCAR medical response vehicle. After being evaluated at the track’s infield care center by Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR edical director, Hunter-Reay was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest for further evaluation.

Helio Castroneves, second in the championship heading into the weekend, lost control of his No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet heading into Turn 1 on the first lap of his qualifying attempt. The left side of the car made hard contact with the SAFER Barrier.

Castroneves, seven points behind teammate Josef Newgarden for the points lead, was uninjured but will be forced to start 20th in the 22-car field as he chases his first Indy car championship in his 20th season.

Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter crashed in morning practice. The No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet crew was unable to repair the car in time to take its place in the qualifying technical inspection line, so Carpenter did not make an attempt. He will start last in Sunday’s race.

source: indycar.com

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Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay has been cleared to drive in today's Pocono 500 following a crash Saturday during qualifying for the race.

Dr. Geoffrey Billows, INDYCAR Medical Director, re-evaluated Hunter-Reay this morning after the driver of the No. 28 DHL Honda sustained injuries to his left knee and hip in the Turn 3 crash on his warmup lap prior to making a qualifying attempt Saturday at Pocono Raceway.

Hunter-Reay was transported by ground to Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pennsylvania, after the incident for further evaluation. He was checked and released but not cleared to drive at that time, pending the follow-up evaluation by Dr. Billows today.

Hunter-Reay will start 21st in today's 500-mile race in the No. 28 DHL Honda. The team has prepared a backup car for him to race.

Takuma Sato, Hunter-Reay's teammate at Andretti Autosport, will start from the pole in the No. 26 Honda

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Ed Carpenter is regarded as an oval track expert in the IndyCar Series, but the team owner/driver faces an uphill climb this afternoon at Pocono Raceway.

Driving the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for the team bearing his name, Carpenter crashed late this morning in the only practice session before single-car qualifying.

The back end of Carpenter’s car stepped out as he was exiting Turn 3, it did a 180-degree spin and made solid contact with the SAFER Barrier.

Carpenter emerged unharmed but the car sustained significant left-side damage, leaving the No. 20 crew little more than three hours to make repairs. Carpenter drew the 13th qualifying position in the 22-car order.

“The car had felt pretty good,” Carpenter said. “Graham (Rahal) was coming in the pits in front of me and slowing up. I don’t know, I maybe lifted a little bit for him slowing down to keep the gap and it may have shifted the balance.

“Frustrating, not the start that we wanted for the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet but we’ll just have to rebound. It’s early in the weekend and we can recover from it.”

Carpenter hadn’t had time to assess the repairs necessary but knew it would be extensive.

“It wasn’t good,” he said of the damage. “It got the whole left side. It will be underwing, suspension. The real question with hits like that is if it gets the engine or gearbox. We’ll find out.”

Andretti Autosport drivers dominated the top of the speed chart in the practice that was also interrupted when Dale Coyne Racing rookie Ed Jones spun and made light contact with the front of his No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda in Turn 2.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2015 Pocono race winner, was fastest in the practice with a lap of 219.268 mph (41.0456 seconds) in the No. 28 DHL Honda out of the Andretti stable. Hunter-Reay’s teammates – Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi – finished fourth, sixth and seventh, respectively, as Honda drivers locked down six of the first seven spots.

“First time back in a year; we didn’t test here this year,” Hunter-Reay said. “Always great to be back at Pocono, but we’re just trying to get a feel for the new tire compound and the track after a hard winter, as they always have here. The bumps are a little bit different, things are a bit different, so it’s just a re-acclimation session.

“You have everybody getting ready for qualifying so you have everybody on completely different levels of downforce. It’s really tough to tell where you stand.”

Reigning IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud was the lone Chevrolet driver near the top of the chart, second fastest at 219.211 mph in the No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet. Tony Kanaan was third in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 10 NTT Data Honda at 219.160 mph.

Josef Newgarden, who took the 2017 points lead on back-to-back wins in the last two races, was 20th of the 22 cars that turned laps. His fastest circuit on the 2.5-mile triangular oval was 214.778 mph in the No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet.

Newgarden leads teammate Helio Castroneves by seven points in the championship, with Scott Dixon eight points back. Castroneves was ninth fastest in practice in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet; Dixon was fifth in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

The pole winner will be determined by the fastest cumulative time over two laps in this afternoon’s qualifying session. Dixon drew the first spot in the qualifying order. Andretti, Hunter-Reay and Sato drew the final three positions.

source: indycar.com

 

         

 

 

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