Montoya leads Pagenaud to Penske 1-2 at St Petersburg

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Juan Pablo Montoya secured his second victory in as many years around the streets of St Petersburg as the Colombian led a Team Penske 1-2 ahead of team-mate Simon Pagenaud.

Montoya made a decisive pass on Pagenaud just after the conclusion of a mid-race full course caution, and was able to hold off the Frenchman until the chequered flag, eventually winning by 2.3306s.

Ryan Hunter-Reay denied Penske a clean sweep of the podium positions by taking third, having passed Helio Castroneves in the closing stages in his Andretti Autosport machine.

Castroneves held on for fourth, finishing just ahead of Mikhail Aleshin of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, the duo less than four-tenths of a second apart, while Takuma Sato ended the race sixth for AJ Foyt Enterprises.

After running near the front in the early stages, Scott Dixon could do no better than seventh for Chip Ganassi Racing, with Carlos Munoz, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball completing the top ten.

Marco Andretti caused the first yellow flag caution of the day when the Andretti Autosport spun while attempting an overtake on Dale Coyne Racing’s Luca Filippi, while team-mate Munoz caused the biggest incident of the day when he spun Graham Rahal into the wall, with a number of cars being caught up in the accident. Munoz served a stop and go penalty for the incident.

Conor Daly had an impressive run for Dale Coyne Racing, running an alternative strategy during the yellow flag cycles, leading a total of fifteen laps before dropping back when forced to make an extra pit stop to remove debris from the sidepod of his car that was causing his water temperature to rise, with the American ultimately ending the race thirteenth.

Pole sitter Will Power was forced to miss the race due to illness, and his Penske replacement Oriol Servia ended a lap down in eighteenth after being caught up and spun around in the Munoz/Rahal mayhem.

Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi ended the race as the best rookie in twelfth, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Spencer Pigot fourteenth behind Daly, and Max Chilton seventeenth for Chip Ganassi Racing.

St Petersburg Race Result

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