As we close in on this Sunday’s season-ending race at Sonoma Raceway, this past Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 Verizon IndyCar Series race at Pocono Raceway proved to be a very costly proposition for numerous teams, and has now forced all teams into a scramble to prepare and rebuild cars for this weekend’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Accounting for the highest attrition rate of the season, by the time the checkered flag fell on Lap 200, only 11 cars of the original 24-car field were still running. The 13 DNFs in the 24-car field surpassed the 11 DNFs in the 33-car field at this year’s Indianapolis 500 for the highest number of retirements.
And with just one race remaining, the cost to repair the damaged cars at this late stage of the season is something most teams’ budgets probably didn’t need.
All told, more than one-third (74 laps) of the 200-lap race was run under caution due to the 12 caution periods.
Nine cars were knocked out due to contact: Sage Karam, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Tristan Vautier, Jack Hawksworth, Sebastian Bourdais and Justin Wilson.
Sadly, Wilson, who was struck in the head by debris off Karam’s wrecked car, passed away just over 24 hours later, the first IndyCar driver to die from a racing incident since Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas in 2011.
Four other drivers and their cars failed to finish the race due to mechanical issues: Gabby Chaves, Charlie Kimball, Ed Carpenter and Stefano Coletti.
The weekend also proved particularly costly for Kimball, who wrecked his primary car during qualifying.