No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: Leader (500 pts.)
Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya extended his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings with a third-place finish in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. With just one race remaining in the season — the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 30 at Sonoma Raceway — Montoya has a 34-point lead over second-place driver Graham Rahal in the championship standings. The defending race winner at Pocono, Montoya struggled in Saturday’s qualifying and started from the 19th position, but he quickly rallied on Sunday and worked his way forward among the leaders. By lap 67 he had risen to second place behind teammate Simon Pagenaud as the Team Penske cars displayed great fuel mileage, with the ability to run several laps longer than their competitors before making green-flag pit stops and gaining track position. On a race restart on lap 138, Montoya was scored in the ninth position, and he continued to race among the top 10 for the remainder of the race. On the final restart of the day at lap 193, following the accident that involved Sage Karam and Justin Wilson that saw Wilson airlifted to a nearby hospital with a head injury, Montoya found himself in the third position and competing for his third win of the season. He fell back two spots over the first two laps of the renewed action before moving back into the top three to secure his fifth podium finish of the year. Montoya’s average finish this season is now a very strong 6.9.
Quote: “It was good. Our Verizon Chevy was strong all day. We ran a smart race. It’s tough, you know. Sometimes you’re racing somebody and you get all excited and you kind of forget why you’re here and what you need to be doing – that it’s a 500-mile race. I gained places where I could gain places. Then when I couldn’t, I was like, ‘OK, let’s save some fuel.’ I think that really helped one of the stops right before the caution. It was really good. We’re all just thinking about Justin (Wilson) right now.”