Bits and pieces on the Pocono IndyCar 400

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POWER, NEWGARDEN IN TOP 5: Team Penske’s Will Power led 15 laps en route to a fourth-place finish this afternoon, his third Top-5 of 2013. “It was a good day and a good finish for the Verizon team,” Power said. “The boys gave me some great pit stops today, and it was really important for us to score some good points and continue to make up ground in the championship.” Right behind him in fifth was Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s Josef Newgarden, who tied his career-best result in IndyCar (Sao Paulo, 2013). “I’m really pleased for the whole team,” he said. “It’s good to get representative results, and today, we got a great one.”

JEFF GORDON, SON DROP BY: Fresh off racing in last night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon and his young son, Leo, visited Pocono today to see IndyCar’s return to the 2.5-mile oval. “I’m so excited to be here for Leo – he’s the one who saw the cars on TV and said to my wife, Ingrid, ‘Race car, race car,'” said Gordon. “So we were in New York and said, ‘Heck, let’s go!’ To be back here in Pocono with the IndyCars, how could we miss that? It’s so cool. I’m being here as a race fan and enjoying it.”

MOVIN’ ON UP: Five drivers were able to make up at least 10 positions during Sunday’s 400-miler. Tying for the biggest charge up the grid were Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon (winner) and Dario Franchitti (third), who each climbed 17 spots. Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson (seventh) moved up 15 spots, followed by Charlie Kimball (second) and Newgarden (fifth) each gaining 10 spots.

OTHER COOL STUFF: Chip Ganassi Racing’s 1-2-3 finish today was the first time that happened for a team in the IZOD IndyCar Series since Team Penske did it at Sonoma Raceway in 2011, when Power, Helio Castroneves and Briscoe finished first, second and third respectively…KV Racing Technology’s Simona de Silvestro moved up four spots in the final 20 laps to finish 11th for a career-best result on an oval…One day after taking the P2 class win in the American Le Mans Series race at Lime Rock Park, Panther Racing’s Ryan Briscoe was bidding for a Top-10 finish until he had to pit late for a splash of fuel; he wound up 13th…Today’s race was the fastest IndyCar event ever held at Pocono, with a stout average speed of 192.864 miles per hour. The previous record was 170.720 mph, set during Danny Sullivan’s 1989 win. That race, a 500-miler, was the last open-wheel event at Pocono until today.

Pagenaud leads no-tow times in Sunday practice

Photo: IndyCar
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Sunday practice ahead of Day 2 of qualifying for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 was split into two groups – one for the drivers who ended Saturday qualifying in positions 10-33, and one for the drivers who made the Fast Nine Shootout for the Pole.

In the combined times, Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest overall. But, Simon Pagenaud topped the all-important no-tow speeds with a lap of 229.409 mph.

Pagenaud’s Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, and Will Power were second, third, and fourth on the no-tow chart – and they were also the only four drivers from the Top 9 who went out for practice.

Of the drivers who qualifying between positions 10 through 33, Alexander Rossi had the quickest no-tow speed of 227.779 mph.

Combined results are below. Qualifying begins at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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