This weekend at Pocono was all about Team Penske. Juan Montoya grabbed the biggest headlines, as he won the pole on Saturday, then went on to win his first IndyCar race since Gateway in 2000. In doing so, he became the first driver to win from the pole this season. His teammate Helio Castroneves finished in second, and Carlos Munoz finished third, notching his third podium finish of the year. Ganassi teammates Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon rounded out the top five.
While Montoya’s return to victory lane is the main takeaway this weekend, it isn’t the only thing people will be talking about. Will Power was penalized yet again, this time for blocking Castroneves of all people. After leading 69 laps, Power’s penalty near the end of the race cost him dearly. He had a 39 point lead over Helio entering today’s race. After finishing tenth, he and the Brazilian are tied heading into Iowa.
Tony Kanaan led a race-high 78 laps, but fell just a few laps shy of making it to the finish, and had to stop for fuel. That has been Chip Ganassi’s luck in a nutshell this season. Graham Rahal’s bad luck continued to haunt him, as he had a mechanical issue that ended their day late in the race. That was the only caution of the race on Sunday.
With all of the controversy surrounding the penalty, it was surprising to see Roger Penske’s cars mixing it up with each other with so much aggression. All three cars were battling for the lead, and all of them made contact with each other. The biggest incident came when Montoya and Power touched as Juan went to make a pass on the outside of Will, clipping off part of his front wing as it made contact with the rear wheel guards.
Ryan Hunter-Reay won the first leg of the Triple Crown, and today Montoya won the second. The Indy 500 winner never really had a shot at it on Sunday. Both Power and Castroneves are seeking their first series championship this year, and today was a huge factor, especially when you consider double points were awarded for the race.
The series has a quick turnaround this week, as they head to Iowa for the next race on the schedule, which is under the lights on Saturday night. Coverage for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 begins at 8 PM ET on Saturday. Qualifications begin at 3 PM on Friday, with a practice session scheduled before and after. James Hinchcliffe is the defending race winner.