JPM Wins season opener at St. Petersburg

By March 13, 2016Penske

11-13 March, 2016, St. Petersburg, Florida USA Winner 2 Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates in Victory Lane ©2016, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

 

Track:    Streets of St. Petersburg

Race:     Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Date:     March 13, 2016

 

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya

Start:  3rd

Finish: 1st – First win of 2016

Status: Running

Laps Completed:  110/110

Laps Led:  2 times for 44 laps

Points Position:  1st (51 pts.)

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya earned his second consecutive season-opening victory on the streets of St. Petersburg Sunday as he produced Team Penske’s eighth win in the last 12 Verizon IndyCar Series races in St. Pete. After qualifying fourth in the No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet, Montoya took the green flag from the third position after the pole-winning car had to start from the rear of the field due to Team Penske’s Will Power being too ill to race. Montoya moved into second place by Lap 11 and he ran strong behind teammate Simon Pagenaud for most of the next 30 laps. On a Lap 63 race restart, Montoya deftly maneuvered around Conor Daly to claim the race lead and he never looked back. He gave up the point just briefly when he made his final pit stop of the day but he reclaimed the lead on Lap 85 as stops cycled through and he paced the field for the final 25 laps to earn the win. Montoya, the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion who finished second in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings in 2015, even overcame a steering issue in the final stages of the race to produce his 15th series victory, tying him with Alex Zanardi for 31st on the all-time wins list. Montoya won by 2.3306 seconds over Pagenaud to give Team Penske its second-consecutive 1-2 result at St. Pete.