2013 Pocono 400 2013 Pocono 400 2013 Pocono 400

When you’re hot, you’re hot, and Target Chip Ganassi Racing was most definitely hot at Pocono Raceway last weekend, locking out the podium with Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti after 160 laps of the “Tricky Triangle” in north-east Pennsylvania.

It was also a massive sigh of relief for the entire Ganassi team, who had endured a horror run of form for the most part over the last 18 months, prior to today claiming just one other podium by any driver this season, which came in the form of a second-placed finish for Dixon at Barber Motorsports Park.

Another team who secured a lockout over the weekend was Andretti Autosports, however their result was quite the opposite. Polesitter Marco Andretti led more than 80 laps over the course of the day however didn’t quite calculate the best pit strategy, meaning he needed to make two pit stops close to the end of the race when many of the other frontrunners only needed to make one.

To avoid this, Andretti was forced to minimise his fuel consumption, which limited his horsepower and gradually saw him drop back through the field late in the race, eventually finishing tenth and running out of fuel as he entered the pit lane on the slow-down lap at the end.

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay was also running strong until entering the pits for his second pit stop. As he slowed to the required pit lane speed limit, he was hit from behind by Takuma Sato, who was entering the pitlane way over the maximum speed, barrelling into Hunter-Reay and sending the reigning series champion careering into the pit lane wall. Hunter-Reay’s suspension was damaged, and his crew brought his car behind the wall and repaired it before getting him back in the race to try for some points, albeit 23 laps down.

James Hinchcliffe, who started in third place, didn’t even make it around the first corner of Lap 1, as his car snapped loose and sent the Canadian into the wall. Hinch banged his knee in the impact but was otherwise uninjured.

Hinchcliffe thre away his front-row start by binning his car on the opening lapElsewhere, Tristan Vautier, Helio Castroneves and Simona de Silvestro were all running well early on and dicing furiously for track position. Castroneves hardly featured in the race all day but finished eighth. Troubles for his main championship rivals Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti saw the Brazilian maintain his points lead at 36 heading into a double-header at Toronto next weekend.

Vautier also had pit troubles of his own. Approaching his pit box for a scheduled stop, the French rookie inadvertently passed his pit box without realising, and hastily turned in, spinning his car 90- degrees and pointing at his crew, who rushed out to help. The HP Sam Schmidt crew pushed their driver back to his pit box, performed the stop and sent him on his way, many seconds lost.

Organisers sensibly opted to do away with three-wide race restartsThe field was very well behaved over the course of the day, with only two cautions all afternoon being for Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay. This didn’t prevent any overtaking moves, with many nail biting passes pulled off through the field. Sensibly, traditional Triple Crown rules calling for three-wide restarts were abandoned, with the two restarts coming in single file to avoid potential for further carnage.

Scott Dixon kept his nose clean all day, passing cars on the track and through faster stops, with his teammates doing the same to all be at the right end of the field at the right time. The win was extra special for both Target as a primary sponsor and Honda as an engine supplier, who claimed their 100th and 200th IndyCar Series victories respectively, as well as lifting a massive weight from the shoulders of all within the team.

Pocono was the second last oval of the season, as the series now turns back to road and street courses, with Toronto up next.

2013 IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 250 Final Classification (250 laps):

Driver   Entry / Team Laps Result
1. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing 160 2:04:26.4178
2. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing 160 + 0.4572
3. Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 160 + 1.1989
4. Will Power AUS Team Penske 160 + 5.6320
5. Josef Newgarden USA Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 160 + 7.1949
6. Simon Pagenaud SPH Racing 160 + 9.4074
7. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing 160 + 13.3012
8. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske 160 + 13.9376
9. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing 160 + 15.5500
10. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport 160 + 18.4584
11. Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Technology 160 + 32.0478
12. James Jakes Rahal Letterman Lanigan 160 + 36.2536
13. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology 160 + 41.5507
14. Ryan Briscoe AUS Panther Racing 159 1 lap behind
15. Pippa Mann Dale Coyne Racing 159 1 lap behind
16. Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing 159 1 lap behind
17. Alex Tagliani CAN Barracuda Racing 158 2 laps behind
18. Graham Rahal USA Rahal Letterman Lanigan 158 2 laps behind
19. Tristan Vautier SPH Racing 158 2 laps behind
Not Classified        
DNF. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport 121 Not Classified
DNF. E.J. Viso Team Venzuela / Andretti 104 Not Classified
DNF. Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises 61 Accident
DNF. Sebastián Saavedra Dragon Racing 2 Mechanical
DNF. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport 0 Accident

Youth Without Borders

Matthew Lennon
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.