So after having 2 weekends off from racing, the Verizon IndyCar Series is back to racing. And for the 4th year in a row are racing in Pocono, for the running of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Can Series Points leader Simon Pagenaud win at the tricky triangle and increase his lead in the points standings? We will just have to wait and find out as I recap and review this race. Before I begin, here is the starting lineup for this race.
Note: This race was supposed to happen on Sunday afternoon. But due to persistent rain, this race was postponed and took place on Monday at 12:00 PM on NBCSN.
1. Mikhail Aleshin: #7 Honda
2. Josef Newgarden: #21 Chevrolet
3. Takuma Sato: #14 Honda
4. Helio Castroneves: #3 Chevrolet
5. Carlos Munoz: #26 Honda
6. James Hinchcliffe: #5 Honda
7. Alexander Rossi (R): #98 Honda
8. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
9. Tony Kanaan: #10 Chevrolet
10. Ed Carpenter: #20 Chevrolet
11. Graham Rahal: #15 Honda
12. Jack Hawksworth: #41 Honda
13. Marco Andretti: #27 Honda
14. Simon Pagenaud: #22 Chevrolet
15. Juan Pablo Montoya: #2 Chevrolet
16. Charlie Kimball: #83 Chevrolet
17. Max Chilton (R): #8 Chevrolet
18. Sebastien Bourdais: #11 Chevrolet
19. Scott Dixon: #9 Chevrolet
20. Conor Daly (R): #88 Honda
21. Pippa Mann: #19 Honda
22. Ryan Hunter-Reay: #28 Honda
Who I picked to win this race: Mikhail Aleshin
Lap 1: The 22 IndyCar's are not properly aligned and the start of the race is waved off. This 1st lap will be run under caution.
Lap 2: The green flag is out and the race in Pocono is finally on. Josef Newgarden passes pole sitter Mikhail Aleshin for the lead of the race on the back straightaway. The 2nd caution is out as Takuma Sato, who was running in 3rd place, spins and hits the turn 3 wall hard. The race is over for Sato.
Lap 9: The green flag is back out with Josef Newgarden as the race leader. But Mikhail Aleshin passes him in turn 1 for the lead. But Josef passes Mikhail back for the lead on the back straightaway.
Lap 11: Mikhail Aleshin passes Josef Newgarden for the lead on the back straightaway.
Lap 12: Ryan Hunter-Reay, who started in 22nd, is already in the top 10 as he passes Ed Carpenter for 10th in turn 1.
Lap 15: This year's Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi is now in the top 3 as he passes Carlos Munoz for 3rd in turn 1.
Lap 17: Alexander Rossi continues to move up through the field as he passes Josef Newgarden for 2nd on the back straightaway.
Lap 22: Ryan Hunter-Reay tries to pass Helio Castroneves for 6th in turn 1, but he can't complete the pass.
Lap 28: Ryan Hunter-Reay is now in the top 5 as he passes James Hinchcliffe for 5th on the back straightaway.
Lap 32: The first cycle of green flag pit stops start as 4th place Ryan Hunter-Reay makes his first pit stop of the race.
Lap 33: Race leader Mikhail Aleshin, Carlos Munoz, and James Hinchcliffe make pit stops.
Lap 38: 1st and 2nd place Sebastien Bourdais and Juan Pablo Montoya make pit stops to end this first cycle of green flag pit stops. Mikhail Aleshin is now the race leader, and Ryan Hunter-Reay is now in 2nd.
Lap 49: Ryan Hunter-Reay passes Mikhail Aleshin for the lead on the back straightaway.
Lap 57: Ryan Hunter-Reay is starting to drop back as he looses the lead to Mikhail Aleshin and then gets passed by Carlos Munoz for 2nd.
Lap 62: The cycle of green flag pit stops start as the top 3 in Mikhail Aleshin, Carlos Munoz, and Ryan Hunter-Reay make pit stops. Alexander Rossi is the new race leader.
Lap 63: The 3rd caution is out as there is a 3 car crash on pit road involving Alexander Rossi, Charlie Kimball, and Helio Castroneves. Looks like the race might be over for Alexander Rossi and maybe Helio Castroneves. Some drivers make pit stops during this caution period.
Lap 71: The green flag is back out with Mikhail Aleshin as the race leader.
Lap 72: Josef Newgarden makes a late pass on Carlos Munoz for 3rd in turn 1.
Lap 90: Ryan Hunter-Reay finally passes Mikhail Aleshin for the lead on the back straightaway.
Lap 94: 2nd place Mikhail Aleshin makes a pit stop.
Lap 95: Race leader Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz make pit stops. Josef Newgarden is now the new race leader.
Lap 98: Race leader Josef Newgarden makes a pit stop.
Lap 100: We have reached the halfway point of this 200 lap race. Here is how the top 5 looks.
1. Mikhail Aleshin
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay
3. Josef Newgarden
4. Carlos Munoz
5. James Hinchcliffe
Lap 120: Will Power is in the top 5 as he passes James Hinchcliffe for 5th.
Lap 121: Race leader Mikhail Aleshin makes a pit stop. Ryan Hunter-Reay is now the new race leader.
Lap 124: Race leader Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz make pit stops. Josef Newgarden is now the new race leader.
Lap 127: Race leader Josef Newgarden makes a pit stop. Will Power, who is 2nd in the Championship Standings, is now the new race leader.
Lap 131: The cycle of green flag pit stops is now over with Will Power making a pit stop about two laps earlier. Mikhail Aleshin is the race leader, Ryan Hunter-Reay is in 2nd, and Josef Newgarden is now in 3rd place.
Lap 134: Ryan Hunter-Reay passes Mikhail Aleshin for the lead of the race on the back straightaway.
Lap 141: Josef Newgarden passes Mikhail Aleshin for 2nd on the back straightaway. Aleshin then gets passed by Will Power on the very next lap for 3rd place.
Lap 149: Both James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin make pit stops.
Lap 152: Race leader Ryan Hunter-Reay makes a pit stop. Will Power is now the new race leader.
Lap 157: Race leader Will Power makes a pit stop.
Lap 159: The 4th caution is out as Simon Pagenaud, who is the leader in the Championship Standings, hits the wall hard in turn 1. There is of course a lot of damage to his car and his race is over.
Lap 164: The green flag is back out with Will Power as the race leader. But Ryan Hunter-Reay passes him for the lead in turn 1.
Lap 165: Looks like Ryan Hunter-Reay might have an engine problem as his car is now going very slow. He goes to pit road but as he is on pit road, his car starts working again. Very weird and strange moment for Ryan Hunter-Reay as he is now 1 lap down in 12th place. Will Power is now the race leader.
Lap 176: The 5th caution is out as there is debris on the race track in turn 1. Most of the drivers make pit stops during this caution period.
Lap 180: The green flag is back out with just 21 laps to go. Will Power is the leader of the race, with Tony Kanaan now in 2nd place.
Lap 181: Both Josef Newgarden and Mikhail Aleshin pass Tony Kanaan on the front straightaway for 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Lap 183: Mikhail Aleshin passes Josef Newgarden for 2nd in turn 1.
Lap 188: Graham Rahal tries to pass Juan Pablo Montoya for 9th on the back straightaway, but he can't complete the pass.
Lap 191: Ryan Hunter-Reay is back in the top 5 as he passes Scott Dixon for 5th in turn 1.
Lap 199: Ryan Hunter-Reay finally passes Josef Newgarden for 3rd on the back straightaway.
Lap 200: The white flag is out for the final lap of the race. Will Power is able to hold off a hard charging Mikhail Aleshin and wins the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Mikhail Aleshin will finish in 2nd, and Ryan Hunter-Reay will finish in 3rd.
Thoughts on this race: Overall, despite the fact that this race happened on Monday in front of a small crowd, this was a good and enjoyable race to watch. This race had a really good amount action in this race that kept me entertained and into this race. Like with most of the races this IndyCar season, I take notes as I am watching this race and then take all the notes that I have written down and put them all in my race recap and review post like this one. As I was watching this race, I was taking a lot of notes and at certain points in this race, I was having a hard time keeping up and writing everything down. When I am ever in that kind of situation, that means that this is a good race and sometimes me not being able to keep up with the notes and everything means that I this is a race well worth watching. And weather people or fans want to admit it or not, Will Power earned this victory. I say that he has earned this victory at Pocono because if you can tell from my race recap, it was a pretty uneventful first half of the race for Will Power. He just was not liking how his car was handling and was not in the top 5 at all, he was even struggling to even stay in the top 10. And I never even really mentioned Will Power at all in the first half of my race recap. But then all of the sudden, Will was slowly moving up through the field and finally got in the top 5. And it seemed like once he got in the top 5, his car just finally started to handle better for him and he was starting to move up through the field and was going to do everything he can to take the lead and win this race. And once he took the lead of the race away from Ryan Hunter-Reay, he was not giving that race lead up and not going to be denied the race win. So this was a well earned win for Will because he did not give up and him and his Penske team just kept working and working on improving the handling of his car and all of the hard work from Will himself and his team paid off as they won this race. Now there is one drivers that you can't help but feel really sorry for and that is Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ryan had a crash in the Saturday morning practice before this race and could not qualify. So because of that, he had to start in last place or 22nd place. And he quickly moved up through the field and got the race lead before even lap 50. Of course he exchanged the lead plenty of times with pole sitter Mikhail Aleshin, but he without question had a very fast race car and was the car to beat. It almost seemed certain that Ryan was going to win this race. But then he has some very strange and weird engine or mechanical malfunction and ends up losing the race lead and lap. Now he was able to get back on the lead lap and fly his way to a 3rd place finish, but you still can't help but feel sorry and heartbroken for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. I truly believe that if he does not have that weird mechanical issue, he would have won this race. Because he definitely had a faster car than actual race winner Will Power and may have been faster that Mikhail Aleshin. Plus is he had won this race, it would have actually been his first win of this 2016 IndyCar Season. But Ryan will just have to wait until maybe Texas, Watkins Glen, or even the final race of the year at Sonoma to get his first win of the season. But as I mentioned earlier, this was a fun race to watch that saw Will Power get a well earned victory and closed the gap between himself and Championship Points leader Simon Pagenaud. Before I go, let me give you guys the full official results of this race along with what the top 5 looks like in the Championship Points Standings.
1. Will Power: #12 Chevrolet
2. Mikhail Aleshin: #7 Honda
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay: #28 Honda
4. Josef Newgarden: #21 Chevrolet
5. Sebastien Bourdais: #11 Chevrolet
6. Scott Dixon: #9 Chevrolet
7. Carlos Munoz: #26 Honda
8. Juan Pablo Montoya: #2 Chevrolet
9. Tony Kanaan: #10 Chevrolet
10. James Hinchcliffe: #5 Honda
11. Graham Rahal: #15 Honda
12. Marco Andretti: #27 Honda
13. Max Chilton (R): #8 Chevrolet
14. Jack Hawksworth: #41 Honda
15. Charlie Kimball: #83 Chevrolet
16. Conor Daly (R): #88 Honda
17. Pippa Mann: #19 Honda
18. Simon Pagenaud: #22 Chevrolet
19. Helio Castroneves: #3 Chevrolet
20. Alexander Rossi (R): #98 Honda
21. Ed Carpenter: #20 Chevrolet
22. Takuma Sato: #14 Honda
2016 Championship Points Standings (Top 5)
1. Simon Pagenaud: 497 Points
2. Will Power: 477 Points (-20)
3. Josef Newgarden: 397 Points (-100)
4. Scott Dixon: 386 Points (-111)
5. Helio Castroneves: 383 Points (-113)
Next Race: Continuation of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. Tonight at 9:00 PM on NBCSN
By: Andrew Harrington