Will Power wins weather-shortened ABC Supply 500 at Pocono

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Will Power won the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway Sunday afternoon after approaching rain and lightning caused the race to end prematurely with 128 of the 200 scheduled laps complete.

The driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet took the lead of the race on lap 107 and continued to pace the field until the yellow flag came out on lap 126. The win is the first of 2019 for Power, who extends his record of consecutive seasons with at least one victory to 13.

“I’m over the moon, man,” Power told NBC Sports following his victory. “I had a few issues during the race, but we just kept coming hard.

“Full credit to the team. I kinda hung there, saved fuel, and when it was time to go I went.”

Power’s win Sunday was the third in four years at Pocono. Though he’s out of the championship hunt, Power wanted to win at least one race in 2019 to extend his streak of seasons with a victory.

“I simply just wanted to win a race,” Power said. “These guys [Power’s crew] have worked their asses off all year and just haven’t had the results.”

The afternoon was certainly an up-and-down one for the No. 12 team. After moving up to third before the first red flag of the race, Power had to pit before the race restart due to an air pressure issue, placing him at the back of the pack.

However, luck was on Power’s side when he made his first pit stop on lap 41. While Power was still in the pits,  Spencer Pigot hit the wall in Turn 1, causing the yellow flag to come out, which let Power exit the pits second behind Teammate Simon Pagenaud.

As the race continued, Power fell back to seventh place when pitting under another yellow, but he emerged from the pits with a set of fresh tires and made his way back to the lead by lap 107.

Power kept his lead over Scott Dixon through his final pit stop on lap 112 and held on through the final caution, which would quickly turn into the red flag that ended the race.

Dixon and Pagenaud finished the race in the second and third positions, while rookie Santino Ferrucci finished fourth and series points leader Josef Newgarden finished fifth.

Newgarden now leads Alexander Rossi by 35 points in the standings after Rossi was one of the five drivers collected in a multi-car accident on the first lap of the race.

All drivers would walk away from the accident safely, though Felix Rosenqvist was sent to a local hospital for further evaluations before being released a few hours later.

 

The NTT IndyCar Series now heads to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway for the final oval race of the 2019 season. Live coverage of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 begins Saturday, August 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Click here for full race results

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Max Verstappen shows speed in Austria; Lewis Hamilton lacking pace

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen posted the fastest time Friday, and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton lacked pace in the second practice session for the Styrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was 0.043 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas – Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes – and 0.217 ahead of Racing Point driver Sergio Perez.

“The car already feels better than last week, the balance is a lot nicer and we have made a good step,” said Verstappen, who did not finish last Sunday’s season-opening Austrian GP after starting from second.

“It is too early to say how we are looking against Mercedes, but we are quite happy. We have tried a few different directions to understand the car a bit more and we are heading the right way.”

Hamilton was only sixth fastest, about 0.7 seconds slower than Verstappen. Hamilton spent a chunk of time in the garage while his team worked on his car.

“It was quite far off, so there’s a lot of work to do in the background to figure it out,” he said. “Others out there are quick and Valtteri’s obviously got good pace.”

Despite adding a new front wing to its car, struggling Ferrari had a dismal afternoon.

Charles Leclerc was only ninth quickest and 1 second slower than Verstappen, while teammate Sebastian Vettel lagged about 2 seconds behind Verstappen in 16th.

Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his Renault car early into the second session, swerving left off the track and thudding backward into a protective tire wall. He climbed out unharmed, other than a slight limp, but the left rear tire was mangled and the car was lifted off the track by a crane.

Alexander Albon spun twice, the Red Bull driver’s second spin taking him right off the track and into gravel.

Earlier, Perez was fastest in the first practice ahead of Verstappen and Bottas, with Hamilton fourth quickest and Vettel only 10th in sunny conditions.

That session was briefly interrupted when Nicholas Latifi’s Williams car pulled over to the side with a gearbox issue.

The incident brought out yellow flags, forcing drivers to slow down. But McLaren driver Lando Norris overtook Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and got a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

Norris, 20, finished third at the Austrian GP last weekend, becoming the youngest British driver in F1 history to get on the podium and third youngest in F1.

The upcoming race is changing names from last week but is at the same track. It is surrounded by the Styrian mountains.

A third and final practice will be held on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon, with heavy rain and storms in the forecast.

If third practice and qualifying are washed out, drivers take their grid positions from where they placed in second practice.

“It would definitely suck if we didn’t get to qualify,” said Hamilton, who started fifth and finished fourth last weekend. “It would make it challenging.”

However, qualifying also could be moved to Sunday morning.

“I don’t expect to be on pole position with this (practice) lap,” Verstappen said.