LONG POND, Pa. (August 22, 2016) – Will Power, in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, won the Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500, Monday at a sun-splashed and windy Pocono Raceway.
Power led 55 of 200 laps at ‘The Tricky Triangle’ to earn his fourth win of the season and close the gap on his teammate and championship leader Simon Pagenaud, who didn’t finish the race, in the championship race.
Will Power claimed his 29th career victory tying Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves for 11th in the all-time list.
The podium was completed by pole-sitter Mikhail Aleshin, in the No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, and 2015 ABC Supply 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, in the No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda. The top five was rounded out by by Josef Newgarden and Sebastien Bourdais.
Team Penske collected its ninth win at Pocono Raceway after conquering the first ever 500-miler race at Pocono Raceway.
The other Team Penske Racing wins came in 1971 (Mark Donohue), 1977 (Tom Sneva), 1980 (Bobby Unser), 1982 (Rick Mears), 1985 (Rick Mears), 1987 (Rick Mears), 1989 (Danny Sullivan), and 2014 (Juan Pablo Montoya.
Nazareth, Pa. native Marco Andretti, in the No. 27 Snapple Honda, finished in 12th position.
The Verizon IndyCar Series will return to Pocono Raceway for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
WHAT THEYARE SAYING (courtesy of INDYCAR)
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet
“I love winning 500-mile races and this is one of the toughest ovals that we race on. It was so hard to follow in traffic because we started very light on downforce but you know, we just kept adding and adding and adding. Then the team adjusted on the car a bit until it was awesome at the end and I was very good in traffic. I just have to thank Verizon and for all the access they give the fans and I also want to thank Chevrolet. The Chevy engine was awesome today and the body kit was obviously also awesome. So you know it was a very good comeback and I am very happy to win here. I love winning 500-mile races and this is one of the toughest ovals that we race on. We are chipping away at (gaining on the championship leader) and obviously there is still a lot to go. Now we will give it everything because we really want to win this championship. The car started off really, really difficult to drive. We adjusted on it all day and for the second half of the race, the car was just awesome. Awesome in traffic, really fast. Just a lot of fun to drive. The Firestones were really good today. Very consistent the whole stint. Just lost a little at the end there so thank you Firestone, as always awesome tires and very reliable. Mikhail (Aleshin, pole sitter) was giving me a lot of heat there at the end. I was like, ‘Man is he going to get me?’ He was close. I felt like if I could take his air in three but I felt if he had to lift there, I would be okay, but he was very strong. That is as good as it gets. No mistakes. Great stops. As an overall team effort, that was as good of a day you could possible get. Thanks to my team.”
Mikhail Aleshin, No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda)
“The team did an amazing job with all the pit stops and the car was good. We needed some changes on some of the stops. One of which wasn’t very good and that’s when I dropped (back) but on the next pit stop we gained everything (position) we had lost. Unfortunately, in the end, I just couldn’t get Will (Power). He was just too fast. Seriously, I was on the edge. I almost crashed a couple times when I was right behind him. I had wiggles and I just couldn’t get him.” (About his enjoyment of ovals) “I didn’t know for sure at the end of my first year, obviously after Fontana (crash) especially. But now I understand it and now I like ovals. I like them even more than most of the road courses. Here, it was just awesome, such intense racing. You’re always at the edge. You’re always at the edge and at speeds of 220 mph. You never know what is going to happen and plus today, you had so much wind coming in. So, I’m just happy to bring the SMP Racing No. 7 up to second place. We didn’t get the victory, but we were very close. Will was just so fast. He deserves it. In the end I just couldn’t do anything with him. I’m just happy for the team They just took an amazing step forward to bring my car home in second position and they had some amazing pit stops.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda
“I had to come through the field twice. It’s heartbreaking. This the type of year it’s been for us. Really heart breaking. The No. 28 DHL Honda really deserved to be in contention for the win there at the end. Going through Turn 2 it just shut off. I cycled the car once, nothing happened and then I got on pit lane and cycled it again. Power cycle. It turns off then it re-fired and we were a lap down. I had to come through the field twice. The car was a rocket ship. It’s a shame.”
WILSON CHILDREN’S FUND
Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky announced this weekend that ‘The Tricky Triangle’ made a sizable donation to the Wilson Children’s Fund and added Wilson’s initials to Pocono Raceway’s start/finish line. Justin Wilson, an INDYCAR driver, died last year.