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Power Battles Back To Win At Pocono

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, August 20 2017

Will Power drove to victory at Pocono on Sunday. (File hoto courtesy of INDYCAR)

Will Power battled back from being a lap down, put some major defensive moves on Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden on the final laps and when on to win Sunday’s IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway for the second straight year.

Power beat Newgarden to the finish line by 0.5268 of a second to pick up his third win of the season.

“I was very cautious on those restarts.” Power said. “I just picked people off one by one. Just be smart. You can never give up in IndyCar because you don’t know what can happen. We got our lap back and made it to the front.”

Newgarden, who made it to Power’s gearbox over the final laps, just could not position himself to get past as Power took away the bottom passing line.

 “Everyone was hauling butt at the end there,” Newgarden said. “On that final restart, everyone was just going. And when I mean by that is they were flat out. They were going as fast as they could. There was no fuel saving. It was hard to pass people. The speed had turned up quite a bit. So, it got difficult. And in that moment, I was with Will in the back there and I could see he was so fast. I was trying to keep with him and we kind of cycled back with him to the front. From there, I was like I don’t even know if we’re going to catch him. So, once we did catch him, I was like I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get by him. It was a crazy race.”

It was Power’s 32nd career Indy car win, breaking a three-way tie with retired greats Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for ninth place on the all-time list.

It came as the result of a fortuitous pit stop.

Power was running in sixth place when he made an unscheduled green-flag pit stop on Lap 66 to replace a front wing assembly. It put the 2014 series champion a lap down, but Power worked his way back onto the lead lap just past the halfway point of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile, three-turn oval.

He led for the first time on Lap 154 benefited from a quick pit stop on Lap 177 that brought him back on track ahead of the other front-runners. When leader Marco Andretti had to stop for fuel 10 laps from the finish, Power regained first place and held off the charges of Newgarden and Alexander Rossi over the final 10 laps.

By finishing second, Newgarden retained the championship lead with three races remaining in the 17-race season. Newgarden holds an unofficial 18-point lead over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, who finished sixth today in the No. 9 Honda. Helio Castroneves is third in points, 22 behind Newgarden, after finishing seventh.

Reignin series champion Simon Pagenaud finished fourth in the race and holds down fourth in the season standings, 26 points behind Newgarden. With the win, Power moved into fifth in the championship, 42 points out of the lead.

Alexander Rossi led 44 laps and finished third in the No. 98 Andretti Autosport Honda to earn his second podium finish in the past three races.

“It’s a really good result, but when you come so close to a win, it’s sometimes difficult to swallow,” Rossi said. “Looking back to where we were at Pocono last year, when we had a strong car and didn’t finish, to come back to be on the podium is a testament to Andretti Autosport and the entire team and the work that they’ve done all year.”

The series is in action on Saturday, Aug. 26 with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline at Gateway Motorsports Park. Live race coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

(This story will be updated shortly)

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LONG POND, Pennsylvania – Results Sunday of the ABC Supply 500 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (5) Will Power, Chevrolet, 200, Running
2. (14) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
3. (6) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 200, Running
4. (2) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 200, Running
5. (4) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 200, Running
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 200, Running
7. (20) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 200, Running
8. (21) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 200, Running
9. (7) Graham Rahal, Honda, 200, Running
10. (18) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 200, Running
11. (16) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running
12. (22) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 200, Running
13. (1) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running
14. (17) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 200, Running
15. (8) Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, 200, Running
16. (3) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 200, Running
17. (11) Ed Jones, Honda, 200, Running
18. (10) Max Chilton, Honda, 129, Mechanical
19. (19) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 124, Contact
20. (12) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 124, Contact
21. (15) Sebastian Saavedra, Honda, 114, Contact
22. (13) Esteban Gutierrez, Honda, 23, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 183.737 mph
Time of Race: 2:43:16.6005
Margin of victory: 0.5268 of a second
Cautions: 3 for 17 laps
Lead changes: 42 among 10 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Kanaan 1-11
Rossi 12-27
Kanaan 28-29
Dixon 30-53
Rossi 54-55
Power 56
Hildebrand 57-58
Dixon 59
Rossi 60-65
Dixon 66-81
Rossi 82-83
Hinchcliffe 84
Rossi 85
Hinchcliffe 86-87
Dixon 88-97
Rossi 98-99
Hunter-Reay 100-103
Rossi 104-114
Newgarden 115-117
Hunter-Reay 118-122
Rahal 123
Kanaan 124-133
Rahal 134
Kanaan 135
Rahal 136
Kanaan 137
Rahal 138
Kanaan 139
Rahal 140
Kanaan 141
Rahal 142
Kanaan 143
Rahal 144
Kanaan 145-146
Rahal 147
Kanaan 148-149
Rahal 150
Hunter-Reay 151-153
Power 154-176
Rossi 177-180
Newgarden 181
Andretti 182-190
Power 191-200

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Newgarden 494, Dixon 476, Castroneves 472, Pagenaud 468, Power 452, Rahal 418, Sato 399, Rossi 394, Kanaan 351 and Hinchcliffe 327.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, August 20 2017
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