Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay has won a chaotic ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway under caution, but the race will be tainted by the accident which befell teammate Justin Wilson, leaving the Englishman fighting for life at the time of writing.
Hunter-Reay beat CFH Racing’s #67 entry Josef Newgarden to complete an American 1-2. Championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya incredibly rounded out the top three after starting a season low 19th on the grid to extend his championship lead to 34 points heading into next weekend’s final round at Sonoma Raceway.
Defending IndyCar Series champion Will Power finished fourth in his Team Penske entry after experiencing highs and lows during the race. This included a spin in pit lane and a slow getaway during another pit stop which cost him valuable places.
Carlos Muñoz completed the top five, with Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon and James Jakes rounding out the top 10.
The race was filled with twelve cautions as a number of drivers struck trouble. Just eleven cars out of the 24 finished at the ‘Tricky Triangle’.
Earlier in the race, title contenders Hélio Castroneves crashed out on Lap 167, while the resurgent Graham Rahal was taken out by Tristan Vautier on Lap 93 of the 200-lap race. He remains second in the Drivers Championship to Montoya.
The penultimate caution was the darkest moment with 20 laps remaining when leader Sage Karam crashed his Chip Ganassi Racing entry machine heavily at Turn 3. Just seconds after, his nose cone from the debris struck Justin Wilson in the head and he was immediately attended to by the Holmatro Safety Team on the track and was transported by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in nearby Allentown.
The race was barely resumed when Gabby Chaves suffered an engine failure with three laps to go, ensuring that the race would finish under caution with Hunter-Reay the victor.
“It was a fantastic race, we came through the field several times and the team gave me what we needed,” he said after claiming back-to-back oval wins, having won the last oval round at Iowa Speedway.
“But first and foremost we’re thinking about Justin. I actually thought when we won the race, just prior to that; I was told he was in the ambulance with Sage going to get checked. I thought everything was fine. Come to find out, it wasn’t that straightforward.
“[Our] thoughts and prayers are with him. He has a family, just like I do. He’s a great friend, a teammate. Can’t say enough about the guy on and off the racetrack. Thinking about his family, for sure, [and] his two daughters.”
The former champion – very prematurely – went on to speculate on what changes IndyCar could make in the wake of Wilson’s accident.
“So, you know, these cars are inherently dangerous with the open cockpit like that, head exposed,” he continued. “Maybe in the future we can work towards some type of — we’ve seen some concept renderings of something that resemble as canopy, not a full jet fighter canopy, but something that can give us a little protection but keep the tradition of the sport.”
There are six drivers still in contention to become the 2015 IndyCar Series Champion with one race left in the season, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma next weekend at Sonoma Raceway with double points on offer.
|2015 IndyCar Series ABC Supply Pocono 500 – Final Classification (200 laps)|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||200||3:25:08.1095|
|2.||Josef Newgarden||CFH Racing||200||+ 0.1053|
|3.||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske||200||+ 0.5695|
|4.||Will Power||Team Penske||200||+ 1.4707|
|5.||Carlos Muñoz||Andretti Autosport||200||+ 2.0003|
|6.||Takuma Sato||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||200||+ 3.5167|
|7.||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||200||+ 4.5025|
|8.||Ryan Briscoe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||200||+ 4.7997|
|9.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||200||+ 5.6857|
|10.||James Jakes||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||200||+ 6.2994|
|11.||Gabby Chaves||Bryan Herta Autosport||197||Engine|
|12.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||193||Mechanical|
|13.||Pippa Mann||Dale Coyne Racing||185||+ 15 laps|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Sage Karam||Chip Ganassi Racing||179||Accident|
|DNF.||Justin Wilson||Andretti Autosport||179||Accident|
|DNF.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||166||Accident|
|DNF.||Ed Carpenter||CFH Racing||156||Mechanical|
|DNF.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||138||Accident|
|DNF.||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||131||Mechanical|
|DNF.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||92||Collision|
|DNF.||Tristan Vautier||Dale Coyne Racing||92||Collision|
|DNF.||Jack Hawksworth||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||82||Accident|
|DNF.||Sébastien Bourdais||KV Racing Technology||36||Accident|
|DNF.||Stefano Coletti||KV Racing Technology||19||Mechanical|
Image via IndyCar Series
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