Will Power secured victory at Pocono Raceway on Monday as title rival and Team Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud crashed out.
However, the race was marred by a pit lane crash that Helio Castroneves was lucky to emerge unscathed from, as Alexander Rossi’s car flew dangerously across the Penske driver’s cockpit after clashing with Charlie Kimball.
Castroneves was visibly shaken by the incident, which was caused by Rossi being released by his pit crew into the path of Kimball, with the two coming together resulting in Rossi being launched into the air and on top of Castroneves.
Power’s fourth victory of 2016 moved him to within twenty points of long time championship rival Pagenaud, who ended his race after hitting the wall on the outside of turn one on lap 159.
Power himself had only became a contender for the race victory in the second half of the 200-lap event, and took the lead just before the final round of pit stops, and was never headed again despite pressure from behind from Mikhail Aleshin.
Aleshin was able to finish second for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport despite the pole sitter making some errors with the set-up of his car early in the race that saw him drop away from the pace, before recovering to second at the end as he improved the set-up again.
Ryan Hunter-Reay completed the podium for Andretti Autosport after a race full of incident for the American driver. Having started from the back of the grid after failing to set a qualifying time following a practice crash, he carved through the field early on, only to lose a lap when he was forced to drive through pit lane as he suffered from an electrical issue.
Hunter-Reay regained the lap during a caution period, and then charged through the field again over the closing laps, catching and passing Josef Newgarden on the penultimate lap to the delight of both himself and the team.
Newgarden was forced to settle for fourth for Ed Carpenter Racing despite leading laps around the Tricky Triangle, while Sebastien Bourdais ended up fifth for KVSH Racing ahead of Scott Dixon, who also drove a great recovery drive after an early pit stop due to a puncture.
Carlos Munoz took seventh for Andretti Autosport ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya of Penske, while Tony Kanaan and James Hinchcliffe completed the top ten.
As well as the retirements for Pagenaud, Rossi and Castroneves (Kimball was able to return to the track albeit a lap down), there were also retirements for Ed Carpenter (mechanical) and for Takuma Sato, who crashed at turn three on the first green flag lap.
Pocono Raceway Race Result
|1||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||2:46:28.9856|
|2||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+1.1459|
|3||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||+5.9076|
|4||21||Josef Newgarden||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+7.0750|
|5||11||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||KVSH Racing||+7.5285|
|6||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||+7.8896|
|7||26||Carlos Munoz||COL||Andretti Autosport||+11.5938|
|8||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||+13.4345|
|9||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||+13.7988|
|10||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+14.2235|
|11||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+14.3471|
|12||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||+16.3334|
|13||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||+17.1907|
|14||41||Jack Hawksworth||GBR||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+18.5585|
|15||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||+1 Lap|
|16||88||Conor Daly||USA||Dale Coyne Racing||+2 Laps|
|17||19||Pippa Mann||GBR||Dale Coyne Racing||+3 Laps|
|RET||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||Retired|
|RET||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||Retired|
|RET||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||Retired|
|RET||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||Retired|
|RET||14||Takuma Sato||JAP||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Retired|