(LONG POND, PA) Given his long history of success in open-wheeled racing, it seemed somewhat strange that Will Power had not claimed checkered flags in 2019 within the NTT IndyCar Series.
His last victory was at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 race in Madison, Illinois one year ago.
He’ll have momentum heading into next Saturday’s event at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway after claiming victory Sunday afternoon at the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Power snared his 36th career win when the 200-lap event was red-flagged for weather after 128 laps. Nonetheless, the pilot of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevy celebrated the duke as if it was fully-raced.
“I’m over the moon,” he said afterwards. “We had a few issues during the race but we just kept coming back. I was so determined and I really wanted to win. It’s my thirteenth year in a row of winning races.”
Starting fifth on the grid, the Aussie avoided early exit after his car received damage from flying pieces that stemmed from a five-car incident on the opening lap. As a result, Power pitted and while his crew was able to save the car, the end result found the veteran at the back of the pack.
With precision, Power was able to slice his way back into contention on the 2.5 mile tri-oval and eventually claim the lead by leapfrogging over defending Series champ Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) via pit strategy at Lap 115.
When officials waved the yellow flag due to lightning at Lap 123, Power had amassed 5.468 second lead over Dixon. As the race had reached the halfway point (100 laps), the red flag that ended the event four laps later signaled victory for Power, whose best lap clocked in at 215.679 MPH.
Current IndyCar points leader Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) finished fourth to maintain his lead in the standings (535 points) with three races left in the season. Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) entered the race second in points but was involved in the first-lap incident, and although his crew was able to piece together the #27 and get it back onto the track, the early end resulted in his 18th place finish and a small slip in the standings (-35).
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) finished third to maintain third in the standings (-40) while rookie Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing) tied his career best with a fourth-place finish.
The NTT IndyCar Series’ stop at the Madison 1.25 oval will be the third since the series rejoined the facility. Friday’s qualifications begin at 5 p.m. Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 has a 7:30 p.m. green flag. Tickets are available at WWTRG’s official website.
For more information on the NTT IndyCar Series, go to their official website.