Will Power, Penske, IndyCar, 2019

Power claims first win as first-lap smash and rain shortens Pocono 500


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Will Power finally scored his first IndyCar victory of 2019 at Pocono but the 14th round of the championship left few with anything to celebrate.

Five drivers were fortunate to escape injury in a major first-lap crash. It was the latest in a string of serious incidents at the superspeedway which has seen one IndyCar driver killed and another suffer paralysis within the past five years.

The mayhem was triggered by Takuma Sato, who pinched Alexander Rossi into Ryan Hunter-Reay on the run to turn two. Sato bounced off the barrier on the inside, then spun into the path of Felix Rosenqvist, who he launched into the barrier.

Sato and Rosenqvist flipped, and Hinchcliffe was also involved in the crash. All five were given the all-clear including Rosenqvist, who suffered the most violent hit and was taken to a trauma centre before being cleared.

The carnage forced a lengthy stoppage which ultimately meant the race was not completed before a heavy band of rain entered the area. That forced a second and final red flag on the 129th lap of a scheduled 200.

By then Power had gone from near the front of the field to the back of it and into the lead once again. The Penske driver ran third at the start but collected debris from the crash scene and had to pit, falling to the back of the field.

He worked his way back to the front and passed Scott Dixon for the lead shortly before it ended for good. A long stint helped Power jump ahead of Simon Pagenaud and Santino Ferrucci. Dixon was unhappy with his tyre balance after his last stop and couldn’t contain Power.

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Ferrucci had pressured Dixon for the lead earlier on but those pit stops pushed the Dale Coyne rookie down to fourth at the chequered flag. Josef Newgarden extended his points lead with fifth after his closest challenger Rossi’s first-lap elimination. Newgarden has a 35-point margin over Rossi, with Pagenaud a further five points behind and Dixon another 12 back.

Ed Carpenter brought his car home in sixth after team mate Spencer Pigot went out in a solo crash early in the race. Sebastien Bourdais took seventh ahead of Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball.

2019 IndyCar Pocono 500 highlights

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 10 comments on “Power claims first win as first-lap smash and rain shortens Pocono 500”

    1. That second impact on the red/blue car (7 seconds in) makes me wish they were running an aeroscreen or halo. Thank goodness everyone came out safe and unharmed.

      1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        19th August 2019, 1:20

        That was Rossi.
        Rosenqvist crash gave me a flashback to Wickens’ crash last year, although, thankfully, Rosenqvist’s car did not actually plow through the fencing

        Dreadful race.
        scary crash with red flag
        couple more crashes
        little action in the first 2 thirds of the race

        Luckily, everyone is indeed unharmed.

    2. From the short video above I don’t see why the track is to blame for the incident. It just looks like drivers are running into each other on the straight.

      1. The problem with track design here is that once the crash happens (due to driver error or car failure) the cars take off into the fence and get caught up in it and shredded to pieces causing driver injuries. Maybe a SAFER wall a foot or two taller and a different fence design would help.

    3. Sato’s tiny move is what started the chain-reaction. A small move with big consequences.

      1. Oval racing is all about tiny moves. Precision and smoothness.

    4. Not surprised how hard Rossi and the others involved in the crash came down on Sato, terrible spatial awareness on his part he was nowhere near clear of Rossi’s front wing.

      On a side note and hate to say it because he’s a t wat but Ferrucci is going from strength to strength in Indy. Credit where it’s due even if the man’s character is pretty awful.

      Right call to red flag the race when they did and not risk another serious incident.

      1. Only on the ovals for Ferrucci. Outside of the ovals, only once has he finished ahead of either Rosenqvist or Herta, his fellow rookies, and that was Herta in the second race at Detroit where iirc he got somewhat lucky with yellows on his strategy, but with a similar strategy, Ericsson found himself 2nd. It only seems like he’s going from strength to strength as there’s been more ovals recently, so don’t worry, that guy is still immensely overrated by the American media. I don’t know why they gloss over what he did in Europe though, they said on the broadcast it was just that the FIA didn’t deem his actions appropriate, with no further comment about the reasons why, ie him purposefully crashing into his teammate after the race, after having (rumour/allegation) spewed abuse, racist and otherwise, at Arjun and his brother. So yeah. Can you tell I don’t like the guy and hate the way he’s being portrayed as the brave, audacious guy who the Europeans ‘couldn’t handle’ or whatever. I don’t like him at all.

        1. As an American, I’m also quite bothered by how determined the NBC crew seems to gloss over everything that got him banned in Europe.

        2. @hugh11 well said. I guess the purposeful ignorance of his actions in F2 stem from not wanting to paint Indy as a fallback option to racers who are dropped in Europe and never made it to F1. Either way was really gutted to see Rosenqvist caught up in that melee for that reason amongst others of course.

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