Montoya rallies for second Indianapolis 500 victory (VIDEO)


INDIANAPOLIS — Juan Pablo Montoya has scored a dramatic win in the 99th Indianapolis 500, recovering from early race contact with another car and a drop to 30th place to win his second Indianapolis 500.

It also extended Roger Penske’s record win tally at Indy to 16 and marked the first for the venerable car owner since Helio Castroneves in 2009.

It was the first win at Indy for Montoya since he led 167 of 200 laps in 2000.

“These guys did an amazing job,” Montoya told ABC’s Jon Beekhuis in victory lane. “When it came to having a good car. Oh my God. That was awesome!

“This is pretty much un-fricking-believable. This is what racing in IndyCar is all about. Racing down to the wire.”

In addition to rebounding from the collision caution when Simona de Silvestro ran into the back of his car (damaging his right-rear wheel guard and requiring a replacement), Montoya also slid through his pit box during a top on Lap 40.

Yet through a first-half comeback drive (he was up up to eighth place by Lap 71 after falling to 30th for the Lap 13 restart), Montoya found himself in contention along with Penske teammate Will Power and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon when the race went green for the final 15 laps following a late accident involving three cars.

Montoya briefly bobbled while making a move for the lead with five laps remaining after passing Dixon for second, but he maintained control and seized first from Power on the outside into Turn 1 on the next lap. Montoya held off his teammate by 0.1046 of a second.

Dixon finished fourth behind Ganassi teammate Charlie Kimball, who emerged in an impressive third after a steady drive.

Graham Rahal was the top Honda-powered driver in fifth place.

Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, JR Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud completed the top 10.

Of those five, Pagenaud had the strongest bid for a win but saw his hopes fade in the final 25 laps with a wounded Chevy that backed the field up going into Turn 3. He had run in the top three for most of the race.

Castroneves was warned for blocking late in the race, though he never was really a factor despite leading at halfway in his attempt at a record-tying fourth win.

Andretti was quietly consistent, and Hildebrand and Newgarden made it two CFH Racing cars in the top-10.

Of note:

–Ryan Briscoe drove from 31st to 12th in a fill-in role for James Hinchcliffe at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

–Takuma Sato ended 13th despite his role in a first-lap accident with Sage Karam.

–NBCSN analyst Townsend Bell was 14th after starting 23rd, and defending Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay ended P15.

Gabby Chaves was top finishing rookie in 16th, driving for Bryan Herta Autosport.

There were two pit lane incidents, one of which saw multiple Dale Coyne Racing cars involved. Two of the three crewmembers injured were checked, cleared and released (Eric Wainscott of Bryan Herta Autosport and Greg Senerius of Dale Coyne Racing), while the third crewmember, Coyne’s Daniel Jang, was transported to Methodist Hospital for further evaluation.

All drivers were checked, cleared and released with the exception of Sebastian Saavedra, who INDYCAR said is being checked for a contusion to his right foot. He will need to be re-evaluated before he is cleared to drive; his next scheduled race is Sonoma in August.

Full results are below.

INDIANAPOLIS – Results Sunday of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (15) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 200, Running
2. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 200, Running
3. (14) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 200, Running
4. (1) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 200, Running
5. (17) Graham Rahal, Honda, 200, Running
6. (8) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running
7. (5) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 200, Running
8. (10) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 200, Running
9. (9) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
10. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 200, Running
11. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 200, Running
12. (31) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 200, Running
13. (24) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running
14. (23) Townsend Bell, Chevrolet, 200, Running
15. (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 200, Running
16. (26) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 200, Running
17. (20) Alex Tagliani, Honda, 200, Running
18. (19) James Jakes, Honda, 200, Running
19. (18) Simona de Silvestro, Honda, 200, Running
20. (11) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 200, Running
21. (6) Justin Wilson, Honda, 199, Running
22. (25) Pippa Mann, Honda, 197, Running
23. (27) Sebastian Saavedra, Chevrolet, 175, Contact
24. (28) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 175, Contact
25. (29) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 175, Contact
26. (4) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 151, Contact
27. (33) James Davison, Honda, 116, Mechanical
28. (32) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 116, Mechanical
29. (13) Oriol Servia, Honda, 112, Contact
30. (12) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 112, Contact
31. (30) Bryan Clauson, Chevrolet, 61, Contact
32. (21) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 0, Contact
33. (22) Conor Daly, Honda, 0, Mechanical

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 161.341 mph
Time of Race: 3:05:56.5286
Margin of victory: 0.1046 of a second.
Cautions: 6 for 47
Lead changes: 37 among 10 drivers
Lap Leaders:
Dixon 1-18
Kanaan 19-20
Dixon 21
Kanaan 22-25
Dixon 26-34
Pagenaud 35-36
Power 37-38
Montoya 39-40
Dixon 41-66
Pagenaud 67-70
Dixon 71
Pagenaud 72
Kanaan 73-74
Dixon 75
Kanaan 76-97
Pagenaud 98-99
Castroneves 100-101
Pagenaud 102-123
Power 124
Pagenaud 125
Dixon 126-127
Pagenaud 128
Dixon 129-148
Pagenaud 149-150
Kimball 151-152
Tagliani 153-154
Kimball 155-162
Dixon 163-164
Montoya 165-166
Dixon 167-169
Munoz 170-172
Wilson 173-174
Power 175-186
Dixon 187
Power 188-191
Montoya 192
Power 193-196
Montoya 197-200

Verizon IndyCar Series Point Standings: 1. Montoya 272, Power 247, Dixon 211, Castroneves 206, Rahal 204, Newgarden 173, Bourdais 161, Kimball 160, Andretti 151, Kanaan 147.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.