MILWAUKEE – Sebastien Bourdais partied like it was the old Champ Car days at the oldest continuously operating race track in North America.
The Frenchman won his second race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season at the Milwaukee Mile, controlling the second half of the 250-lap race, the ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers. He also won at the track in 2006.
The driver of the No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet drove an utterly dynamic middle stint of the race after the halfway mark, gapping the field by anywhere from three to four mph per lap and stretching his lead on the one-mile oval to a full lap, in running a “rabbit” strategy on pure pace.
Bourdais needed a final stop on Lap 212 to ensure he made the finish, but his lead was almost never in doubt after his prior 90 laps.
A late caution on Lap 222 when Justin Wilson stopped in Turn 1 with a mechanical issue nearly sabotaged Bourdais’ race.
Most of the field pitted for fresh tires, Bourdais had a two-car gap between he and the rest of the field, as Juan Pablo Montoya and Ed Carpenter stayed out.
Bourdais held off Helio Castroneves, who made a great drive from last in the field up to second, and Graham Rahal, who followed up his Auto Club Speedway win with another podium.
Montoya and polesitter Josef Newgarden completed the top five.
Montoya held on on the older tires, and in the process extended his points lead. He is now up by 54 points over Scott Dixon, who finished seventh after a late fallback.
Newgarden led three times for 109 laps, including all but six of the first 100 laps, but was caught out on strategy. He made it home fifth and said he could afford to be disappointed with his first top-five of the year that wasn’t a win.
Tony Kanaan was sixth ahead of Dixon. Marco Andretti, Simon Pagenaud and Ed Carpenter completed the top 10 finishers.
Will Power crashed out just past the halfway mark, caught up with nowhere to go when Ryan Briscoe lost control through Turns 3 and 4.
Montoya now leads Dixon by 54, Castroneves and Rahal by 69 and Power by 70 heading to Iowa Speedway next week.
WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Results Sunday of the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.015-mile Milwaukee Mile, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 250, Running
2. (24) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 250, Running
3. (6) Graham Rahal, Honda, 250, Running
4. (8) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 250, Running
5. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 250, Running
6. (4) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 250, Running
7. (10) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 250, Running
8. (9) Marco Andretti, Honda, 250, Running
9. (17) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 250, Running
10. (22) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 250, Running
11. (12) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 250, Running
12. (7) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 250, Running
13. (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 250, Running
14. (13) Takuma Sato, Honda, 250, Running
15. (18) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 250, Running
16. (20) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 248, Running
17. (21) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 221, Running
18. (15) Justin Wilson, Honda, 219, Mechanical
19. (3) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 183, Contact
20. (19) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 156, Mechanical
21. (2) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 130, Contact
22. (14) Will Power, Chevrolet, 130, Contact
23. (5) James Jakes, Honda, 113, Mechanical
24. (23) Pippa Mann, Honda, 27, Handling
Winners average speed: 130.373
Time of Race: 01:56:46.8264
Margin of victory: 2.2366
Cautions: 3 for 36 laps
Lead changes: 9 among 6 drivers
Newgarden 1 – 54
Rahal 55 – 59
Newgarden 60 – 100
Dixon 103 – 116
Bourdais 117 – 170
Newgarden 171 -184
Kanaan 185 – 187
Bourdais 188 – 250
Verizon IndyCar Point Standings: Montoya 439, Dixon 385, Rahal 370, Castroneves 370, Power 369, Bourdais 343, Andretti 332, Kanaan 314, Newgarden 309, Pagenaud 278.