IndyCar

IndyCar: ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway Fast Facts

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Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s ABC Supply 500 Fast Facts at Pocono Raceway:

ABC Supply 500 Fast Facts

Race weekend: Saturday, Aug. 18 – Sunday, Aug. 19

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

Race distance: 200 laps / 500 miles

Entry list: ABC Supply 500 (PDF)

Firestone tire allotment: Thirteen sets for use throughout the weekend

Twitter: @PoconoRaceway @IndyCar, #ABCSupply500, #IndyCar

Event website: http://www.poconoraceway.com/

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)

2017 Verizon P1 Award winner: Takuma Sato (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda), 1 minute, 21.9526 seconds, 219.639 mph (two laps)

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, 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 18 (live); Race, 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 19 (live); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Ryan Myrehn and Michael Young reporting from the pits. The Verizon IndyCar Series race is broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 98, XM 209, IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. The Verizon IndyCarSeries qualifying session is broadcast live on Sirius 216, XM 209, IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice are available on IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: Both ABC Supply 500 practice sessions will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

At-track schedule (all times local):

Saturday, Aug. 18

10:30 – 11:30 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), NBCSN (live)

4:45 – 5:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

Sunday, Aug. 19

1:29 p.m. – Driver introductions

2:05 p.m. – Command to start engines

2:10 p.m. – ABC Supply 500 (200 laps/500 miles), NBCSN (live)

Championship facts:

  • Scott Dixon leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with four races to go for the third time in his career. He also led the championship with four to go when he won the title in 2008 and in 2009 when he finished second to Dario Franchitti. Dixon has led the 2018 championship since his win at Texas on June 9.
  • Scott Dixon leads Alexander Rossi by 46 points with defending series champion Josef Newgarden (-60) in third and Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power (-87) in fourth.
  • There are 14 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2018 Verizon IndyCarSeries championship: Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Robert Wickens, Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe, Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato, Ed Jones and Spencer Pigot. Any driver who trails the points leader by 213 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 Indy car 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: The driver that has led the championship with four races to go has won the championship five times since 2008. Scott Dixon (2008), Dario Franchitti (2011), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Josef Newgarden (2017) all won titles after holding the lead with four to go.

Point differential: The 46 points which separate Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi is the fifth-largest margin since 2008. Dario Franchitti (2010) and Dixon (2015) overcame leads of more than 50 points with four races to go. The average deficit with four races to go since 2008 is 35.7 points.

Championship-eligible drivers results at Pocono: Will Power (2016 and 2017), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015) and Scott Dixon (2013) have won previous races at Pocono…Power has won three of the last four 500-mile races, including back-to-back races (Pocono 2017 and Indianapolis 2018). Al Unser is the only driver to win three consecutive 500-mile races, all in 1978 (Indianapolis, Pocono, Ontario)…Josef Newgarden and Power have finished in the top five in four of their five starts at Pocono…Dixon, Newgarden and Power have finished in the top 10 in all five of their starts.

Race notes:

  • There have been seven different winners in the 13 previous Verizon IndyCarSeries races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1, Texas Motor Speedway and Streets of Toronto), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and James Hinchcliffe (Iowa Speedway). Dixon’s win at Toronto on July 15 was his 44thcareer win, which ranks third on the all-time Indy car victory list.
  • The ABC Supply 500 will be the 25th Indy car race at Pocono Raceway. Will Power won the race in 2017, the first Indy car driver to win back-to-back races at Pocono. Mark Donohue won the first Indy car race at Pocono in 1971.
  • The ABC Supply 500 will be the fifth race on an oval in 2018. The first four oval races were won by Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway), Will Power (Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Texas Motor Speedway) and James Hinchcliffe (Iowa Speedway)
  • Foyt, who fields the cars of Matheus “Matt” Leist and Tony Kanaan, 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 Scott Dixon (2013), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015) and Will Power (2016-2017) are entered this year.
  • Five drivers have won the Pocono 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 10 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), Juan Pablo Montoya (2014) and Will Power (2016 and 2017).
  • Chip Ganassi Racing has one win at Pocono when it swept the podium in 2013 with Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti. Andretti Autosport, owned by Michael Andretti of nearby Nazareth, Pennsylvania, won at Pocono in 2015 with Ryan Hunter-Reay.
  • At least 16 drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Pocono. Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato each have five starts, most among the entered drivers. Thirteen entered drivers have led laps at the track (Power 175, Kanaan 147, Andretti 97, Dixon 92, Newgarden 73, Hunter-Reay 72, Alexander Rossi 48, Pagenaud 31, Rahal 9, Kimball 5, Sebastien Bourdais 4, James Hinchcliffe 3 and Sato 3). Kanaan and Power have led in each of their five previous starts.
  • Four rookies – Pietro Fittipaldi, Matheus Leist, Zach Veach and Robert Wickens – are expected to compete. None of the rookies nor veteran driver Spencer Pigot has made an Indy car start at Pocono Raceway.

Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 297th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 237 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 213 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.

Mario Andretti says Colton Herta could be next American star in F1

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Mario Andretti’s last Formula One victory is also the last by an American driver in more than 42 years on the international open-wheel road racing series.

If you had told Andretti that while he was celebrating on the Grand Prix of the Netherlands podium on Aug. 27, 1978 at the Vandzoort circuit, he wouldn’t have believed it.

“Absolutely not,” Andretti told Kyle Petty during the most recent “Coffee With Kyle” episode (video above). “It’s a shame. Somehow we have so much talent here, and either there’s no invitation or something there. But I think it’s time to give some of this young talent that, in my opinion, is absolutely capable.”

The Dutch GP was the last of Andretti’s 12 victories in F1 and came during his championship season. No one since has come close to matching his success in F1.

Mario Andretti drives his Lotus-Ford to victory in the 1978 Grand Prix of the Netherlands (Bernard Cahier/Getty Images).

Andretti’s son, Michael, took a full-time ride with McLaren in 1993 but left with three races remaining in a season marred by crashes and mechanical problems.

Scott Speed was the last American to run a full F1 season in 2006, and Alexander Rossi made the most recent F1 start by a U.S. driver in 2015. Rossi has said he has no desire to return to racing in Europe after winning the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and becoming an IndyCar championship contender.

But Mario Andretti believes Andretti Autosport has another rising star with F1-caliber ability.

“Colton Herta is one that comes to mind,” Mario Andretti said. “As a young lad, his dad sent him to Europe, he was doing Formula 3, and he knows most of the circuits there. He’s trained. He’s showed in his rookie season and won some premium races at COTA (and Laguna Seca), beat two of the very best Indy has to offer (in) Will Power and Scott Dixon.

“This is one kid I’d love to see him get a break over there to fly the U.S. colors again.”

Herta, 20, seems interested in exploring an F1 leap over the next few years. After winning Sept. 13 at Mid-Ohio from the pole position (his third career victory in the NTT IndyCar Series), the No. 88 Dallara-Honda driver is ranked fourth in the standings in his sophomore year and regarded as one of the series’ top prospects.

Herta recently told RACER.com “I’d love to give Formula 1 a crack” but said he also would be happy driving in IndyCar and IMSA.

A naturalized U.S. citizen who told Petty about spending several years with his family in an Italian refugee camp before coming to America, Mario Andretti said F1 brought an enormous sense of patriotic pride.

“Formula One is like the Olympics in a sense,” he said. “You’re in a different country, a different continent. When you earn that highest step of the podium, they play your national anthem. That’s when you take nothing for granted. You feel like I’m representing my country, and the proudest moments are those.

“I’d just like to see some other American drivers experience that. It’s time.”

Mario Andretti with four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton before the Nov. 22, 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).

During the “Coffee With Kyle” conversation, Andretti also discussed:

–His versatility as a winner in IndyCar, sports cars, NASCAR and Formula One;

–His 1967 Daytona 500 victory and how he enjoyed racing with crew chief Jake Elder at the famed Holman-Moody team;

Mario Andretti Colton Herta
Mario Andretti and Kyle Petty saluted “The King” by wearing their Richard Petty-style hats during the latest “Coffee With Kyle” (NBCSN).

–Why he delayed his entry to F1 for a few years because of his earnings power in IndyCar. “I always say I’d race for free, but at the same time, you’re thinking of family and the future,” he said. “It was in the back of your mind that you can’t give up the earning power of IndyCar. That kept me from going full time in Formula One, but I always said that sometime in my career, I’d have to devote a period to Formula One.”

–On what it was like racing in an era when driver deaths were more prevalent. “If you’re going to do this, you’re not going to dwell on those negatives,” Andretti said. “There’s no way. You knew it was present. Especially in the ‘60s at the beginning of the season at the drivers meetings, you couldn’t help but look around and say, ‘I wonder who is not going to be here at the end of the season.’ We’d lose four to five guys. In ’64, we lost six guys.

“It’s something if you dwell on that, you’re going to take on a different profession. It’s a desire and love to want to drive that overcame all that and then the confidence it’s not going to happen to me. And then you pray.”

Watch the full “Coffee With Kyle” episode in the video above or by clicking here.

Mario Andretti looks on before the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2019 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).