Hunter-Reay claims muted ABC Supply 500 win after serious crash for Justin Wilson


Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed victory in the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday evening, but the focus after the race lay with Justin Wilson after the Briton had to be airlifted to a local hospital following an accident.

Wilson was hit by debris after Sage Karam crashed on lap 179 of the race, prompting a lengthy caution period. INDYCAR has confirmed that Wilson had been airlifted to Lehigh Valley Health Network Cedar Crest Hospital following the incident with a head injury.

Following two aborted starts, the race eventually went green at the third attempt with Josef Newgarden making a lightning start to jump from fourth to first on the first lap. The CFH Racing driver was closely followed by Simon Pagenaud in the opening stint as pole-sitter Helio Castroneves dropped back to third.

Newgarden managed to retain the lead until his first pit stop on lap 28, sparking the first round of stops. The Penske drivers at the front opted to stick it out and go longer before pitting, which proved to be a costly error.

A caution called for Jack Hawksworth’s errant wheel resulted in Pagenaud, Castroneves and Will Power dropping right down the field, whilst those who had already pitted vaulted up the order.

A second caution followed when Sebastien Bourdais crashed into the wall on the first lap back under green, but the race eventually got back underway on lap 43 with Newgarden duelling for the lead with Wilson and Munoz. The CFH Racing driver managed to keep his cool at the front, though, and retain his advantage.

Towards the end of the second stint, Tony Kanaan managed to pick his way through the front-runners to move into the lead of the race ahead of Newgarden. However, it was Simon Pagenaud who managed to emerge from the pit cycle at the head of the field despite going slightly longer than his rivals, leading from Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan after 75 laps.

After going wheel-to-wheel on track, the three primary championship contenders were spread through the field once again. A problem attaching the fuel nozzle to Graham Rahal’s car caused him to fall to the back of the field, whilst by following Pagenaud’s lead and going longer before stopping, Montoya was able to rise up to fourth. With Dixon P11, things were looking good for the Colombian as the race approached half distance.

To make matters even better for Penske, Helio Castroneves managed to find his feet soon after making his second stop, charging into the lead of the race ahead of Pagenaud to set up a Penske one-two with Kanaan further back in third.

The third pit cycle was sparked by a clash between Charlie Kimball and Jack Hawksworth that resulted in the Briton’s retirement. Both drivers were frustrated with the incident, but Kimball was able to continue after pitting for repairs.

The entire pack dived into the pit lane in reaction to this clash once in single file, but Castroneves managed to keep his cool and retain his lead. The same could not be said of Penske teammate Will Power, though, who dropped down the order after spinning when pulling away from his pit box.

Once again, the caution period was followed by another – but this was the most notable so far. Going three-wide through the first corner, Tristan Vautier clipped Graham Rahal, sending both drivers into the wall and only narrowly missing Justin Wilson on the outside.

Rahal was unsurprisingly fuming with the incident, knowing that his hopes of winning the championship had been seriously dented by this clash. With Montoya and Dixon both now inside the top ten, they had a golden opportunity to pull away at the top of the drivers’ standings.

In the brief green flag running under the caution, Tony Kanaan managed to move into the lead of the race, but the Brazilian dropped back upon the restart. Instead, it was Ganassi teammate Sage Karam who seized the opportunity to lead his home race, albeit only for two laps before he dived into the pit lane.

Two laps later, a sixth caution of the race was called when Ed Carpenter lost his rear tailpod on the main straight, sending the majority of the runners into the pit lane. Gabby Chaves opted to stay out alongside Will Power and Justin Wilson, vaulting all three to the front as a result.

Chaves did not back down when the race resumed, though, dicing with Power and Helio Castroneves for the lead of the race. The Colombian driver eventually dropped back upon pitting, allowing Ryan Hunter-Reay to move into the lead for the first time on Sunday.

The former series champion dropped back in the following round of pit stops, though, sparked by a crash for Tony Kanaan. The Brazilian driver lost the back end of his Ganassi car, spearing into the wall and out of the race, ending his hopes of a first win in 2015.

Chaves regained the lead of the race through the following pit cycle, but fell to third before an eighth caution of the day quickly followed when Marco Andretti lost his car on the low line before slamming into the wall up high.

The race resumed with 51 laps remaining with Hunter-Reay quickly ascending into the lead ahead of Pagenaud and Karam, whilst Josef Newgarden and Juan Pablo Montoya came back into the fray for big points after dropping outside of the top ten in the middle stages of the race.

On lap 163, another full course caution was called, but not due to an incident involving any of the cars on track. Instead, it was due to a fox running across the track, sparking another round of stops. Hunter-Reay led the way off pit road, but it was Briscoe who led for the restart.

Inevitably, another full course caution followed on the restart lap when Helio Castroneves spun into the wall after running as many as nine wide for the green. This gave a handful of drivers the chance to pit for a fuel top up, ensuring they could push to the end.

Upon the restart, Takuma Sato, Josef Newgarden and Sage Karam exchanged blows at the front, with Karam emerging as the leader with 25 laps to go. However, all eyes were on Montoya after the Colombian rose to fourth place past Hunter-Reay thanks to his fresher tires and fuel to make the finish.

Karam’s dreams of a home victory were dashed with 21 laps to go when he spun out from the lead, hitting the wall hard. Debris from the Ganassi car hit Justin Wilson around the cockpit area as the Andretti driver came through the corner, causing him to crash out.

Medical crews were quick to attend both drivers. Although Karam was quickly extracted from his car and walked away with a small limp, Wilson required more immediate medical attention. The Andretti driver was taken by ambulance to the helipad at Pocono, from where he was airlifted to a local hospital.

After the prolonged caution period, the race resumed with seven laps to go. Hunter-Reay managed to move into the lead of the race as Newgarden and Montoya both scythed through the field.

The American would ultimately claim his second win of the season under yellow flags after Gabby Chaves suffered an issue with three laps to go, prompting one final caution. He was followed across the line by Newgarden and Montoya, with Will Power in fourth.

Carlos Munoz finished fifth ahead of Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud, whilst Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon and James Jakes rounded out the top ten.

However, in the immediate aftermath of the race, attention solely lies with Wilson. We will bring you updates on his condition once we receive them.


LONG POND, Pa.- Results Sunday of the ABC Supply 500 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (8) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 200, Running
2. (4) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
3. (19) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 200, Running
4. (3) Will Power, Chevrolet, 200, Running
5. (6) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 200, Running
6. (9) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running
7. (2) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 200, Running
8. (18) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 200, Running
9. (11) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 200, Running
10. (15) James Jakes, Honda, 200, Running
11. (16) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 197, Mechanical
12. (23) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 193, Mechanical
13. (17) Pippa Mann, Honda, 185, Running
14. (20) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 179, Contact
15. (7) Justin Wilson, Honda, 179, Contact
16. (1) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 166, Contact
17. (21) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 156, Mechanical
18. (22) Marco Andretti, Honda, 138, Contact
19. (12) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 131, Contact
20. (5) Graham Rahal, Honda, 92, Contact
21. (13) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 92, Contact
22. (14) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 82, Contact
23. (10) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 36, Contact
24. (24) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 19, Mechanical

Race Statistics
Winners average speed:
Time of Race: 03:25:08.1095
Margin of victory: Under Caution
Cautions: 12 for 74 laps
Lead changes: 33 among 12 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Castroneves 1-2
Newgarden 3-27
Pagenaud 28-32
Newgarden 33-54
Kanaan 55-64
Hunter-Reay 65
Pagenaud 66-68
Castroneves 69-71
Pagenaud 72-78
Castroneves 79-92
Kanaan 93-103
Pagenaud 104
Karam 105-106
Pagenaud 107
Castroneves 108-109
Chaves 110-114
Power 115-116
Chaves 117
Castroneves 118-120
Chaves 121-127
Hunter-Reay 128-134
Kimball 135
Chaves 136-138
Pagenaud 139-151
Hunter-Reay 152-164
Briscoe 165-167
Wilson 168-169
Hunter-Reay 170-172
Sato 173-174
Karam 175-176
Chaves 180-192
Sato 193
Chaves 194-195
Hunter-Reay 196-200

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Montoya 500, Rahal 466, Dixon 453, Power 439, Castroneves 423, Newgarden 413, Andretti 390, Bourdais 386, Kanaan 366, Pagenaud 356.

‘It’s gnarly, bro’: IndyCar drivers face new challenge on streets of downtown Detroit

IndyCar Detroit downtown
James Black/Penske Entertainment

DETROIT – It was the 1968 motion picture, “Winning” when actress Joanne Woodward asked Paul Newman if he were going to Milwaukee in the days after he won the Indianapolis 500 as driver Frank Capua.

“Everybody goes to Milwaukee after Indianapolis,” Newman responded near the end of the film.

Milwaukee was a mainstay as the race on the weekend after the Indianapolis 500 for decades, but since 2012, the first race after the Indy 500 has been Detroit at Belle Isle Park.

This year, there is a twist.

Instead of IndyCar racing at the Belle Isle State Park, it’s the streets of downtown Detroit on a race course that is quite reminiscent of the old Formula One and CART race course that was used from 1982 to 1991.

Formula One competed in the United States Grand Prix from 1982 to 1988. Beginning in 1989, CART took over the famed street race through 1991. In 1992, the race was moved to Belle Isle, where it was held through last year (with a 2009-2011 hiatus after the Great Recession).

The Penske Corp. is the promoter of this race, and they did a lot of good at Belle Isle, including saving the Scott Fountain, modernizing the Belle Isle Casino, and basically cleaning up the park for Detroit citizens to enjoy.

The race, however, had outgrown the venue. Roger Penske had big ideas to create an even bigger event and moving it back to downtown Detroit benefitted race sponsor Chevrolet. The footprint of the race course goes around General Motors world headquarters in the GM Renaissance Center – the centerpiece building of Detroit’s modernized skyline.

INDYCAR IN DETROITEntry list, schedule, TV info for this weekend

JOSEF’S FAMILY TIESNewgarden wins Indy 500 with wisdom of father, wife

Motor City is about to roar with the sound of Chevrolet and Honda engines this weekend as the NTT IndyCar Series is the featured race on the nine-turn, 1.7-mile temporary street course.

It’s perhaps the most unique street course on the IndyCar schedule because of the bumps on the streets and the only split pit lane in the series.

The pit lanes has stalls on opposing sides and four lanes across an unusual rectangular pit area (but still only one entry and exit).

Combine that, with the bumps and the NTT IndyCar Series drivers look forward to a wild ride in Motor City.

“It’s gnarly, bro,” Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward said before posting the fastest time in Friday’s first practice. “It will be very interesting because the closest thing that I can see it being like is Toronto-like surfaces with more of a Long Beach-esque layout.

“There’s less room for error than Long Beach. There’s no curbs. You’ve got walls. I think very unique to this place.

PRACTICE RESULTS: Speeds from the first session

“Then it’s a bit of Nashville built into it. The braking zones look really very bumpy. Certain pavements don’t look bumpy but with how the asphalt and concrete is laid out, there’s undulation with it. So, you can imagine the cars are going to be smashing on every single undulation because we’re going to go through those sections fairly fast, and obviously the cars are pretty low. I don’t know.

“It looks fun, man. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. It’s going to be learning through every single session, not just for drivers and teams but for race control. For everyone.

“Everybody has to go into it knowing not every call is going to be smooth. It’s a tall task to ask from such a demanding racetrack. I think it’ll ask a lot from the race cars as well.”

The track is bumpy, but O’Ward indicated he would be surprised if it is bumper than Nashville. By comparison to Toronto, driving at slow speed is quite smooth, but fast speed is very bumpy.

“This is a mix of Nashville high-speed characteristics and Toronto slow speed in significant areas,” O’Ward said. “I think it’ll be a mix of a lot of street courses we go to, and the layout looks like more space than Nashville, which is really tight from Turn 4 to 8. It looks to be a bit more spacious as a whole track, but it’ll get tight in multiple areas.”

The concept of having four-wide pit stops is something that excites the 24-year-old driver from Monterey, Mexico.

“I think it’s innovation, bro,” O’Ward said. “If it works out, we’ll look like heroes.

“If it doesn’t, we tried.”

Because of the four lanes on pit road, there is a blend line the drivers will have to adhere to. Otherwise, it would be chaos leaving the pits compared to a normal two-lane pit road.

“If it wasn’t there, there’d be guys fighting for real estate where there’s one car that fits, and there’d be cars crashing in pit lane,” O’Ward said. “I get why they did that. It’s the same for everybody. I don’t think there’s a lot of room to play with. That’s the problem.

“But it looks freaking gnarly for sure. Oh my God, that’s going to be crazy.”

Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing believes the best passing areas will be on the long straights because of the bumps in the turns. That is where much of the action will be in terms of gaining or losing a position in the race.

“It will also be really easy to defend in my opinion,” Palou said. “Being a 180-degree corner, you just have to go on the inside and that’s it. There’s going to be passes for sure but its’ going to be risky.

“Turn 1, if someone dives in, you end up in the wall. They’re not going to be able to pass you on the exit, so maybe with the straight being so long you can actually pass before you end up on the braking zone.”

Palou’s teammate, Marcus Ericsson, was at the Honda simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana, before coming to Detroit and said he was shocked by the amount of bumps on the simulator.

Race promoter Bud Denker, the President of Penske Corporation, and Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix President Michael Montri, sent the track crews onto the streets with grinders to smooth out the bumps on the race course several weeks ago.

“They’ve done a decent amount of work, and even doing the track walk, it looked a lot better than what we expected,” Ericsson said. “I don’t think it’ll be too bad. I hope not. That’ll be something to take into account.

“I think the track layout doesn’t look like the most fun. Maybe not the most challenging. But I love these types of tracks with rules everywhere. It’s a big challenge, and you have to build up to it. That’s the types of tracks that I love to drive. It’s a very much Marcus Ericsson type of track. I like it.”

Scott Dixon, who was second fastest in the opening session, has competed on many new street circuits throughout his legendary racing career. The six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion for Chip Ganassi Racing likes the track layout, even with the unusual pit lane.

I don’t think that’s going to be something that catches on where every track becomes a double barrel,” Dixon said. “It’s new and interesting.

“As far as pit exit, I think Toronto exit is worse with how the wall sticks out. I think in both lanes, you’ve got enough lead time to make it and most guys will make a good decision.”

It wasn’t until shortly after 3 p.m. ET on Friday that the IndyCar drivers began the extended 90-minute practice session to try out the race course for the first time in real life.

As expected, there were several sketchy moments, but no major crashes during the first session despite 19 local yellow flags for incidents and two red flags.

Rookie Agustin Canapino had to cut his practice short after some damage to his No. 78 Dallara-Chevrolet, but he was among many who emerged mostly unscathed from scrapes with the wall.

“It was honestly less carnage than I expected,” said Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood, who was third fastest in the practice after coming off his first career IndyCar victory in the most recent street race at Long Beach in April. “I think a lot of people went off in the runoffs, but no one actually hit the wall (too hard), which actually surprised me. Hats off to them for keeping it clean, including myself.

“It was quite a bit less grip than I think everyone expected. Maybe a little bit more bumpy down into Turn 3 than everyone expected. But overall they did a good job between the two manufacturers. I’m sure everyone had pretty much the same we were able to base everything off of. We felt pretty close to maximum right away.”

Most of the preparation for this event was done either on the General Motors Simulator in Huntersville, North Carolina, or the Honda Performance Development simulator in Brownsburg, Indiana.

“Now, we have simulators that can scan the track, so we have done plenty of laps already,” Power told NBC Sports. “They have ground and resurfaced a lot of the track, so it should be smoother.

“But nothing beats real-world experience. It’s going to be a learning experience in the first session.”

As a Team Penske driver, Power and his teammates were consulted about the progress and layout of the Detroit street course. They were shown what was possible with the streets that were available.

“We gave some input back after we were on the similar what might be ground and things like that,” Power said.

Racing on the streets of Belle Isle was a fairly pleasant experience for the fans and corporate sponsor that compete in the race.

But the vibe at the new location gives this a “big event” feel.

“The atmosphere is a lot better,” Power said. “The location, the accessibility for the fans, the crowd that will be here, it’s much easier. I think it will be a much better event.

“It feels like a Long Beach, only in a much bigger city. That is what street course racing is all about.”

Because the track promoter is also the team owner, Power and teammates Scott McLaughlin and Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden will have a very busy weekend on the track, and with sponsor and personal appearances.

“That’s what pays the bills and allows us to do this,” Power said.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500