Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race Reports

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report

Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile, 14-turn road course)
Race: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Date: May 9, 2015

No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 1st
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 65
Points Position (behind leader): 2nd (-5)

Recap: Will Power won from the pole position Saturday for the 25th victory of his Verizon IndyCar Series career and first at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Power won by 1.5023 seconds over Graham Rahal and moved into second place in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings, just five points behind Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. Power maintained the lead despite an incident involving teammate Helio Castroneves on the first turn of the first lap. Power pitted from the lead on Lap 22, but quickly worked his way back into the lead again. From there, it turned into a compelling battle with Graham Rahal for first place. As Power entered the pits on Lap 40, Rahal assumed the lead. However, Power worked back into the top spot on Lap 48. In nine short laps, Power pitted once again, giving the lead to Rahal. Rahal gave up the point when he pitted on the next lap. On Lap 63, Power returned to the lead when Charlie Kimball drove to the pits. At the time, Power held a 4.4805-second lead over Rahal, who tried to catch Power for the next 19 laps but he couldn’t catch the series champ. Saturday marked Power’s first victory of the 2015 season in a race that was slowed by just one caution period
Quote: “That’s the most physical race I think I’ve ever done. It never stopped. I was so determined to win that I didn’t want anything to go wrong. I didn’t want to get caught out by a yellow and wanted a clean race, and that’s exactly what we got. I’m really happy for the guys on the Verizon car. It’s pretty special to win here.”

No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Start: 4th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 1st

Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya maintained his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings with his third podium finish in five races this season. It also was his 21st podium in 64 career series races. He narrowly escaped damage to the No. 2 Verizon Chevy early in the race after an incident involving Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves on the opening lap. On lap 39, he pitted for alternate “red” Firestone tires, and began to work his way back through the field. In just nine laps he moved into third place. He valiantly tried to track down second-place Graham Rahal for the remainder of the race, but ultimately ran out of laps. Montoya is now five points ahead of race winner Will Power in the standings and 10 points ahead of Castroneves, giving Team Penske the top three spots in the series standings.

Quote: “We ran well all day in the Verizon Chevrolet. We raced hard all day too. I saw them go eight-wide on lap one and I knew that that wasn’t going to work. (Scott) Dixon got in line and we got to the breaking zone and I knew some were going to dive bomb and that wouldn’t work. We had really good pit stops and everyone on the No. 2 Verizon Chevy did a really great job today. It’s a shame that we lost touch with Will (Power) there at the end but I’ll take third place at a road course any day.”

No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves

Start: 3rd
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 3rd (-10)
Recap: Helio Castroneves rallied from an incident in the first turn of the first lap to finish in the sixth position to keep himself in the heat of the points battle with Team Penske teammates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power. Castroneves started third but upon entering the first corner his No. 3 Verizon Chevrolet made contact with the right rear of Scott Dixon’s car. Castroneves was able to continue, but pitted a short time later for fresh tires and fell to 17th in the running order. From there, he steadily fought back by using a fast Verizon Chevrolet combined with great fuel mileage. By lap 48, he was running ninth. From there Castroneves gained three more positions over the remaining laps. Saturday marked the 300th start of Castroneves’ illustrious career, making him one of only seven drivers to have started 300 races in IndyCar history.

Quote: “I was just trying to make sure I didn’t hit anyone – and that I didn’t get hit – in that first corner. Just wanted to put the No. 3 Verizon Chevy in a good position there. Unfortunately I clipped (Scott) Dixon in the right rear when he turned into the corner. Obviously him spinning out put me into the grass and we lost many spots. From there it was a great comeback for the team. The Verizon Chevy was really fast, but that first lap hurt us quite a bit. We were able to recover by having a fast car and by getting great fuel mileage. We learned a lot about our fuel mileage at Barber two weeks ago. Today that paid off big time.”

No. 22 DeVilbiss Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 5th
Finish: 25th
Status: Retired (mechanical)
Laps Completed: 57/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position (behind leader): 10th (-70)
Recap: Simon Pagenaud raced competitively until an electrical Issue sidelined him on lap 57 of the 82-lap race. After starting fifth, Pagenaud moved up to third early by avoiding the first-lap incident involving Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves. After pitting on lap 40, Pagenaud moved up to the sixth position by lap 48. On lap 57, he came into the pits because of issues with the car’s electronic control unit, which eventually forced the retirement of the No. 22 machine. The 25th-place finish was the worst of the season for Pagenaud.

Quote: “We had a really tough day today. Our DeVillbiss Chevrolet was very competitive early on, but with the issue we had toward the end of the race we couldn’t get back out there. The GCU, which controls the shifting, had a malfunction. It’s a bummer to not put things together again, but I know with our speed we’ll get there soon. We’re going to keep our heads down and be there at the end next time.”