Ryan Hunter-Reay won the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway ahead of Josef Newgarden. Juan Pablo Montoya's third-place finish extended his championship points lead heading into the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale Aug. 30.
There were 12 different drivers to lead laps - half of the field - in the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile triangular oval and 13 cars retired because of contact or mechanical issues. There also were 12 caution periods - the 11th yellow flag displayed on Lap 180 for the single-car crash of race leader Sage Karam in Turn 1. Debris from the incident hit the trailing Justin Wilson's #25 Andretti Autosport Honda. Wilson was transported by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital in Allentown, Pa., with a severe head injury. Wilson, 37, from Sheffield, England, was in critical condition in a coma after the race and died from his injuries the next day.
Six title contenders remain, and with the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 30 carrying double base points, the title remains up for grabs. Montoya, who has topped the standings since winning the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., in March, entered the third 500-mile race of the season with a 9-point lead over the surging Graham Rahal.
Montoya, however, heads to the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course with a 34-point advantage over the third-year Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver, whose car was involved in contact on a Lap 93 restart. Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Newgarden also remain eligible for the Astor Cup.
"We took our time and were smart," said Montoya, who qualified a season-low 19th in the #2 Verizon team Penske Chevrolet. "I think we had a car that could win the race, but it wasn't worth risking it (with title contenders running behind him). We did what we needed to do today."
Hunter-Reay, driving the #28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport, won for the second time this season and 16th time in his Indy car career. Newgarden, also a two-time winner this season in the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet, earned his fourth podium finish of the year.
Power, the reigning series champion, finished fourth in the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and Carlos Munoz was fifth in the #26 AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda for Andretti Autosport.
"We came through the field several times and the team gave me what we needed," said Hunter-Reay, who overtook rookie Gabby Chaves on Lap 196 in Turn 1 and won under caution. "This team has given me great race cars over the years and this was one of them."
On the next lap, Chaves' #98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda for BHA with Curb-Agajanian was trailing smoke, bringing out the final caution. Chaves, who qualified 16th, led 31 laps.
"Well, what can I say?" asked Chaves after the race. "Obviously after having a shot to win the race, with three laps to go and our engine blew so it is disappointing, but you know, that's racing. Racing has its ups and downs and today we had both. We led a lot of laps. We showed what we can do when we are in the front. We just didn't get to finish it out with a result, but I am very proud of this group of guys we have working."