Team Penske's Will Power wins chaotic red-flagged race at Pocono Raceway
Will Power has won his first race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Season after claiming victory in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in a chaotic race filled with incidents and ultimately brought to a premature end through severe weather.
Power's race was interrupted by a major crash on the opening lap as he picked up debris, this meant he had to pit out of sequence to the rest of the field which turned out to be a factor in winning the race as it ended early on lap 129 of 200.
The opening lap pile-up was instigated by Rahal-Letterman-Lanigan's Takuma Sato who pulled down from the outside on Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay heading towards Turn 2.
This led to a collision between the trio, which Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' James Hinchcliffe was unable to avoid as they came back up the race track, but it was Chip Ganassi Racing's Felix Rosenqvist who came off the worst after getting tagged by Sato's car and launched into the air, narrowly avoiding a crash similar to Robert Wickens' one year prior.
The Swede was sent to the local LeHigh Valley hospital for further checks but was released.
Due to being out of sequence, Power was able to push his way through the field, then towards the end of the race he was able to remain out on track longer than his rivals and this helped him take the lead late on and use his fresh tyre advantage to make a bid for the lead before the weather arrived.
Reigning series champion Scott Dixon had taken the lead late on after Power was forced to drop back to not pitting under the caution which came for Colton Herta's crash on lap 74. But once Power had stormed back past the Kiwi after the final stops, he had to settle for second and is now only 52 points behind championship leader Josef Newgarden.
Simon Pagenaud made an exceptional start and took the lead into Turn 1 on the opening lap and led for the majority of the race, however, his attempt at the win was thwarted initially by Hinchcliffe who had returned to the race and held up the Frenchman in Turn 3, then he had to back off the throttle in the pit-lane for Graham Rahal who had to cross in front of Pagenaud to get to his pit box.
These two incidents cost the Indy 500 winner the lead which then halted his momentum.
Dale Coyne Racing's Santino Ferrucci continued his strong form on ovals with a fourth-place finish, utilising strength with the undercut strategy to make ground on his rivals. The Connecticut-born driver was able to keep with up with the leading pace throughout the race.
Newgarden had to settle for the fifth place after a difficult race in which he was unable to keep up with the leading pack. Despite a tricky race for the 2017 series champion, he has increased his points lead over Rossi to 35, with three races remaining.
Ed Carpenter secured sixth-place as the race was called, a solid effort from the oval veteran having started from the back half of the field, with the grid decided by championship order.
In seventh was four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais ahead of the Tony Kanaan in eighth who ran a solid race for A.J Foyt Enterprises, scoring his best result since Toronto in 2018 where he finished sixth.
Rahal ended the race in ninth after a solid drive for the series veteran. He was unable to maintain the leaders' race early and eventually slipped back down the field.
Carlin had a very strong race after Charlie Kimball led Conor Daly would be classified 10th and 11th respectively, both drivers fought their way through the field. Kimball made an incredible start to the race passing several cars which helped his initial progress.
Herta was one of many notable retirees as he clattered the outside wall of Turn 2 on lap 74 after trying to chase down Newgarden.
Spencer Pigot also crashed out of the race on lap 41 after also crashing into the Turn 2 barrier as he suffered mechanical issues with his #21 Autogeek-Chevrolet after hitting a bump and lost control of his car.
The NTT IndyCar Series will return to action for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park on August 23-24.