Courtesy of INDYCAR PR, here’s all you need to know ahead of this weekend’s ABC Supply 500, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ 15th round of 16 races this season:
Date: Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015
Track: Pocono Raceway, a 2.5-mile triangular oval in Long Pond, Pa.
Race distance: 200 laps / 500 miles
Entry List: ABC Supply 500
Firestone tire allotment: Fourteen sets for use through the weekend
Twitter: @PoconoRaceway, @IndyCar, #ABCSupply500, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.poconoraceway.com/
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2014 race winner: Juan Pablo Montoya
2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Juan Pablo Montoya, 1 minute, 20.4034 seconds, 223.871 mph (two laps)
One-lap qualifying record: Juan Pablo Montoya, 40.1929 seconds, 223.920 mph, July 5, 2014.
Television Broadcasts: Qualifying, 2 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 22 (live, NBCSN); Race, 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 23 (live, NBCSN). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Paul Tracy and Steve Matchett. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Paul Page is chief announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Jim Murphy, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young, with Mark Jaynes and Jake Query serving as the turn announcers. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races air live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app. Practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app
Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season are available live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.
INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers, including interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where drivers are positioned, a leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter during the race.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Saturday, Aug. 22
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series rookie practice
9:30 – 11 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 1
2 – 3:10 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying (single car, cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (live)
5:30- 6 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice
Sunday, Aug. 23
11 a.m. – Systems check
2 p.m. – NBCSN on air
2:46 p.m. – ABC Supply 500 (200 laps/500 miles), NBCSN (live)
• Juan Pablo Montoya leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with two races remaining for the second time in his career. He led the CART championship with two races to go in 1999 when he claimed his first Indy car championship.
• Montoya leads Graham Rahal by nine points. Montoya has led the championship since winning the opening round of the championship at St. Petersburg in March.
• There are 10 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Montoya, Rahal, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud.
• Three drivers – Carlos Munoz, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball – were eliminated from championship contention at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 2.
• Since the first Indy car race at Pocono in 1971, the winning driver has won the championship six times: Joe Leonard (1972), A.J. Foyt (1975 and 1979), Tom Sneva (1977), Rick Mears (1982) and Scott Dixon (2013).
Key championship point statistic: Including Montoya this season, a driver from Team Penske has led the championship with two races to go six times since 2008. Other Team Penske drivers to lead entering the penultimate round are: Power (2010, 2012, 2014), Castroneves (2013) and Ryan Briscoe (2009).
Point differential: The nine points which separate Montoya and Rahal is the fourth closest margin with two races to go since 2007. The average deficit with two to go since 2008 is 21.5 points. The 34 points between Montoya and third-place Dixon is the closest margin between first and third with two races to go since 2009 and the third closest since 2005.
Championship-eligible drivers results at Pocono: Montoya (2014) and Dixon (2013) have won the last two races at Pocono. Dixon has finished in the top five in both of his starts at Pocono. Andretti, Castroneves, Newgarden, Pagenaud and Power have finished in the top 10 in both starts. Rahal has never finished better than 18th in his previous starts at Pocono.
* There have been nine different winners in 14 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Texas Motor Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Toronto), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2 and Milwaukee), Graham Rahal (Auto Club Speedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Iowa Speedway). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners. Dixon’s win at Long Beach on April 19 gave him sole possession of fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36. He is the active leader in wins with 37 after his victory at Texas on June 6.
* The ABC Supply 500 will be the last of six oval races on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, Dixon won the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, Rahal won the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway on June 27, Bourdais won the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at The Milwaukee Mile on July 12 and Hunter-Reay won the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway on July 18.
* The ABC Supply 500 will be the 22nd Indy car race at Pocono Raceway. Montoya won the race in 2014 from the pole. Mark Donohue won the first Indy car race at Pocono in 1971.
* A.J. Foyt, who fields the cars of Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth, is the winningest driver at Pocono Raceway with four victories (1973, 1975, 1979 and 1981). Rick Mears won at Pocono three times, while Al Unser won at Pocono twice. Past winners Montoya (2014) and Dixon (2013) are entered this year.
* Five drivers have won the race from the pole – Donohue (1971), Foyt (1979 and 1981), Bobby Unser (1980), Mears (1982 and 1985) and Montoya (2014).
* Team Penske has won eight times at Pocono. Penske’s winning drivers are: Donohue (1971), Tom Sneva (1977), Bobby Unser (1980), Mears (1982, 1985 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1989) and Montoya (2014).
* With its next Verizon IndyCar Series victory, Chip Ganassi Racing will earn its 100th Indy car race win. The team has one win at Pocono 2013, when it swept the podium with Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti.
* AJ Foyt Racing has competed in every event at Pocono from 1971-1989 and in 2013-14. Team owner A.J. Foyt won at the track four times as a driver (1973, 1975, 1979 and 1981) and earned two poles (1977 and 1979).
* Dixon has finished in the top five in both of his starts at Pocono. Montoya won his first start at the track in 2014. Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Power have finished in the top 10 in both starts.
* Kanaan seeks to start his 248th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon looks to make his 190th consecutive start this weekend.
* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda that attach to the Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all entrants. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed a separate aero kit specification for road and street courses/short ovals and another for superspeedways. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding kit manufacturer.
* The No. 3 Team Penske crew of Castroneves claimed the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 2 with a total pit-lane time of 1 minute, 24.84 seconds. It was the third Pit Performance Award of the season for the No. 3 crew and the fourth win in the last five races for Team Penske. The No. 3 Team Penske crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities at the ABC Supply 500.