No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 128/200 (rain-shortened race)
Laps Led: 31
Points Position: 5th (-128 pts)
It may have been a rain-shortened event, but Will Power also had one of the cars to beat in taking the checkered flag in Sunday’s Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway for his 36th IndyCar Series victory, breaking a tie with Bobby Unser for seventh place on the all-time wins list.
After rain washed out both the first practice session and qualifying on Saturday, Power lined up in the fifth position for the start of the race, based on the INDYCAR rulebook. After maneuvering his way into the third position at the drop of the green flag, just behind his Team Penske teammates, Power and the rest of the field had to endure a 45-minute red-flag period after a multi-car incident in Turn 2 of the first lap.
While sitting on pit road, awaiting the cleanup process, it was discovered that the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet had a puncture to the left-rear tire, likely a result of running through the debris field on the one yellow-flag lap after the incident. Race strategist Roger Penske called Power down pit road prior to the race resuming to change all four tires, placing Power on a slightly different strategy than the rest of the field.
Despite a persistent understeer condition, Power quickly made his way back to the front of the field, a position he would hold throughout the 128 laps of competition.
With inclement weather fast approaching the Pocono Raceway, Power made his way around the No. 9 of Scott Dixon just after his final pit stop of the day at lap 112. Lightning halted the racing action at 5:25 pm EDT and the race was called shortly with torrential rain following soon after.
With the win, Power remains fifth in the IndyCar Series standings, 128 markers behind leader Josef Newgarden with three races remaining.
“I had a few issues during the race but we just kept coming back. Full credit to the team. We had a great car and we just kind of hung there and saved fuel and when it was time to go, I went. I was so determined and I really wanted to win. This is my 13th year in a row of winning races and I have been thinking about that. I just wanted to win a race for Verizon and these guys who have worked their butts off all year and just haven’t had the results.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!