(Photo courtesy IndyCar)

Fast Facts: ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway

Leave a comment

Courtesy of INDYCAR PR, here’s all you need to know ahead of this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, the 13th of 16 races on the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule:

ABC Supply 500 Fast Facts

Race weekend: Saturday, Aug. 20 – Sunday, Aug. 21

Track: Pocono Raceway, a 2.5-mile triangular oval in Long Pond, Pa.

Race distance: 200 laps / 500 miles

Entry List: ABC Supply 500 (pdf)

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 

2015 race winner: Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 DHL Honda)

2015 Verizon P1 Award winner: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Shell V-Power Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 21.6217 seconds, 220.530 mph

One-lap qualifying record:
 Juan Pablo Montoya, 40.1929 seconds, 223.920 mph, July 5, 2014

Two-lap qualifying record: Juan Pablo Montoya, 1 minute, 20.4034 seconds, 223.871 mph, July 5, 2014

NBCSN Television broadcasts: Qualifying, Midnight ET Sunday, Aug. 21 (taped); Race,3 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 21, (live); Brian Till is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Jim Murphy and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races as well as qualifying sessions are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com,indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: Both practice sessions from Pocono Raceway and qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (1:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20) will be available onRaceControl.IndyCar.com.

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon Wireless puts fans around the world in the driver’s seat with its INDYCAR Mobile app. The app has been enhanced with new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR Mobile app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and includes enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; the ability to follow the race in real time with the interactive 3D track; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Saturday, Aug. 20
9 – 10:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
1:30 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/cumulative time of two laps), RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live); TV: NBCSN (Taped, Midnight, Aug. 21)
5-5:30 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

Sunday, Aug. 21
11:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series systems check
2:27 p.m. – Driver Introductions
3:03 p.m. – Command to Start Engines
3:09 p.m. – ABC Supply 500 (200 laps/500 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Championship facts:

• Simon Pagenaud leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with four races to be completed for the first time in his career.

• Simon Pagenaud leads Will Power by 58 points. In 2015, Juan Pablo Montoya led Scott Dixon by 54 points with four races to go. Dixon won the championship on a tiebreaker.

• There are 18 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe, Carlos Munoz, Graham Rahal, Charlie Kimball, Alexander Rossi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais, Takuma Sato, Mikhail Aleshin, Conor Daly and Marco Andretti. Any driver who trails the points leader by 212 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.

• 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 Simon Pagenaud this season, a driver from Team Penske has led the championship with four races to go four times since 2010. Other Team Penske drivers to lead with four to go are: Will Power (2010), Helio Castroneves (2013 and 2014) and Juan Pablo Montoya. None of those drivers won the title that season.

Point differential: The 58 points which separate Simon Pagenaud and Will Power is the largest margin since 2010 when Will Power led Dario Franchitti by 59 points. The average deficit with four races to go since 2010 is 39.0 points.

Championship-eligible drivers results at Pocono: Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015), Juan Pablo Montoya (2014) and Scott Dixon (2013) have won the previous three races at Pocono. Montoya has finished on the podium in each of his starts at Pocono. Montoya won his first start at the track in 2014 and finished third last year. Carlos Munoz has finished in the top five in both of his starts at Pocono. Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden and Will Power have finished in the top five in two of their three starts at Pocono. Dixon, Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power have finished in the top 10 in all three starts.

Race notes:

• There have been seven different winners in the 12 previous Verizon IndyCar Series completed races in 2016: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Phoenix International Raceway), Simon Pagenaud (Streets of Long Beach, Barber Motorsports Park, Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle-2, Road America and Toronto) and Josef Newgarden (Iowa Speedway). Dixon’s win at Phoenix on April 2 tied him for fourth on the all-time Indy car victory list with Al Unser at 39. He is the active leader in wins. Bourdais’ win at Belle Isle on June 4 tied him with Bobby Unser for sixth on the all-time list with 35 wins. Power’s win at Toronto on July 17 gave him sole possession of 13th all-time with 28.

• The ABC Supply 500 will be the 23rd Indy car race at Pocono Raceway. Ryan Hunter-Reay won the race in 2015. 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 Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015), Juan Pablo Montoya (2014) and Scott Dixon (2013) are entered this year.

• Five drivers have won the race from the pole – Mark Donohue (1971), A.J. Foyt (1979 and 1981), Bobby Unser (1980), Rick Mears (1982 and 1985) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2014).

• Team Penske has won eight times at Pocono. Penske’s winning drivers are: Mark Donohue (1971), Tom Sneva (1977), Bobby Unser (1980), Rick Mears (1982, 1985 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1989) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2014).

• Chip Ganassi Racing has one win at Pocono 2013, when it swept the podium with Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti.

• Juan Pablo Montoya has finished on the podium in each of his starts at Pocono. Montoya won his first start at the track in 2014 and finished third last year. Carlos Munoz has finished in the top five in both of his starts at Pocono. Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden and Will Power have finished in the top five in two of their three starts at Pocono. Dixon, Newgarden Simon Pagenaud and Will Power have finished in the top 10 in all three starts.

• Nineteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Pocono. Marco Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato each have three starts, most among the entered drivers. Twelve of those drivers have led laps at the track (Kanaan 114, Andretti 88, Power 86, Newgarden 54, Montoya 45, Dixon 38, Pagenaud 30, Hunter-Reay 29, Castroneves 24, Kimball 5, Bourdais 1 and Sato 1). Kanaan and Power have led in each of their three previous starts.

• Three rookies – Max Chilton, Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi – are entered. Rossi leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 76 points over Daly, with Chilton 129 points behind.

• Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 262nd consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 203 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.

• Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 324th career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 323rd Indy car start, which is fifth all-time.

• The 2016 season is the second in which aerodynamic bodywork component kits are used. The aero kits, produced by engine manufacturers Chevrolet and Honda for their respective supplied teams, are the latest technical innovation to enhance on-track performance through competitive aerodynamic development. Each manufacturer produces two kits for teams – one for short ovals/road courses/street courses and another for superspeedway ovals – but within each kit, teams have multiple component options available.

• The second season of aero kit competition complements the fifth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the manufacturer champion.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.