Penske teammates Castroneves, Power now tied atop IndyCar standings

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With double points on offer, today’s Pocono IndyCar 500 threatened to shake up the Verizon IndyCar Series championship – and it did.

Will Power entered today with a 39-point advantage over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves. But on Lap 172, Power tacked to the inside twice on Castroneves while they battled for position, and ultimately drew a black flag from Race Control for blocking.

Castroneves finished runner-up to winner Juan Pablo Montoya, while Power finished 10th.

And what was once a 39-point lead for the Australian has vanished completely, as both men are now even atop the standings with seven races remaining in the season.

Only time will tell if this moment was when the 2014 IndyCar title fight truly shifted. But for now, Power’s momentum is gone – and to be frank, he only has himself to blame for that.

As for the rest of the title picture, both Simon Pagenaud and Montoya also gained some ground today, too.

Pagenaud, who won last weekend in the second race of the Houston doubleheader, finished a relatively quite sixth in today’s race. But in the championship, he’s moved up from fourth to third and now sits 44 points behind the two Penske drivers.

Montoya is also putting himself into contention for what would be his second Indy-car crown (CART, 2000). He was behind 116 points prior to today but after earning a big win from the pole position, he’s chopped his deficit down to 55 points.

His win continues what has been a hot streak for him as of late. He’s now claimed three podium finishes (third at Texas, second at Houston Race 1, win at Pocono) in the last four events.

Not faring as well today points-wise was Ryan Hunter-Reay, who slipped from third to fifth in the standings at 58 points behind Power and Castroneves – a loss of 17 points from where he stood post-Houston.

Here’s how the championship looks after today’s 500-miler in Pennsylvania:

VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES STANDINGS (AFTER 11 OF 18 RACES)
T-1. 12-Will Power, Penske, 446 points
T-1. 3-Helio Castroneves, Penske, 446 points
3. 77-Simon Pagenaud, SPM, -44 points
4. 2-Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske, -55 points
5. 28-Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti, -58 points
6. 34-Carlos Munoz, Andretti, -106 points
7. 25-Marco Andretti, Andretti, – 121 points
8. 9-Scott Dixon, Ganassi, -149 points
9. 8-Ryan Briscoe, Ganassi, -161 points
10. 11-Sebastien Bourdais, KVSH, -175 points

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.