No. 1009
August 14, 2019

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The Line


AUGUST 21, 2019

(Photo by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)
Will Power (No. 12 Team Penske  Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6) earned his first NTT IndyCar Series victory of the season 
in Sunday's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, the 2.5-mile track where he won for the third time in four years. Power extended his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one victory to thirteen. Power had taken the lead from Scott Dixon (No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Bank Honda Turbo V6) on Lap 115 and pushed the advantage to 6.1 seconds before the caution waved for lightning in the area. The race was called on Lap 128 (of 200) when the inclement weather arrived. The victory gave Power sole possession of seventh place in career victories with 36, breaking a tie with the legendary Bobby Unser. The Australian said this win came amid "the toughest season of my career." "Absolutely over the moon to finally win a race this season," Power said. "The guys working on the car, they've worked their (tails) off this year - just had bad runs. Yeah, (it's) awesome, awesome - great feeling." Editor-in-Chief's Note: The race was marred by a Lap 1, Turn 2 crash that was unfortunately almost a repeat of last season when Robert Wickens suffered catastrophic injuries. Alexander Rossi (No. 27 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Turbo V6), Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 Andretti Autosport DHL Honda Turbo V6) and Takuma Sato (No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda Turbo V6) came together due to a flagrantly boneheaded move by Sato who moved over on Hunter-Reay. The resulting chaos claimed James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Arrow Honda Turbo V6) and sent series rookie Felix Rosenqvist (No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing NTT Data Honda Turbo V6) up into the catch fencing. Everyone was okay, with Rosenqvist escaping serious injury, but the crash cast a pall on the proceedings and unleashed a torrent of social media chatter. Robert Wickens commented on Twitter: "How many times do we have to go through the same situation before we can all accept that an IndyCar should not race at Pocono. It’s just a toxic relationship and maybe it’s time to consider a divorce. I’m very relieved (to my knowledge) that everyone is okay from that scary crash." And former IndyCar star and NBC commentator Paul Tracy wondered aloud why there weren't meaningful penalties handed out these days for dangerous incidents on the track. The lack of accountability is alarming these days, and this just wasn't "one of them racin' deals" either. Sato's move was blatantly dangerous and could have seriously injured several drivers. If I was in charge of the decision I would sit Sato for the rest of the year, as in, "flat-out, you're done." And even though Pocono is a wonderful facility and the people in charge have done tremendous work there, I'm not sure IndyCar should go back. Yes, the drivers are ultimately responsible for their actions on the track, but there are certain places that just don't sit well with Indy cars, Pocono being one and Texas Motor Speedway being the other. IndyCar dodged a bullet on Sunday, but it can't afford another incident of this magnitude. -PMD
(Photo by Chris Owens/INDYCAR)
Scott Dixon finished second in the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Bank Honda Turbo V6, giving him finishes of second, second, first and second over the past month. The strong run, coupled with the fifth-place finish of Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Team Penske Hitachi Chevrolet Turbo V6), tightened the championship chase, which has four drivers within 52 points heading to the final three races.
(Photo by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)
Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Team Penske Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet Turbo V6) jumped from third to first on the opening lap and led a race-high 64 laps, but he settled for a third-place finish. Pagenaud is 40 points out of the series lead, Dixon is 52. "It's good to be in it," said Pagenaud, who like Dixon (five times) and Newgarden is a former NTT IndyCar Series champion. "There's three races to go, all the chances in the world for our team. We're going to keep pushing; that's what we've been doing. Just keep pushing, doing what we do, try to win races. That's going to be the name of the game until the end. I love it." Next up for the NTT IndyCar Series is the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. NTT P1 Award qualifying will be held Friday at 6:15 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (XM 209, Sirius 217, Internet/App 970). The 248-lap race is Saturday, with NBCSN's coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled for 8:45 p.m., with the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network available on all affiliates plus XM 209, Sirius 98 and Internet/App 970. (Thanks, as always, to IndyCar media.)

Editor-in-Chief's Note: 
Watch a 76-second video highlight of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series night race from Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night here. -PMD