Just 11 cars completed the race and two drivers have been transported to a local hospital.
Ryan Hunter-Reay won a bizarre one at Pocono on Sunday. In a race that lasted roughly four hours, the Andretti Autosport Honda driver held off Josef Newgarden and was out front when the final caution was called for Gabby Chaves, who suffered an engine failure.
This marks the second time this season and 16th time in his career that RHR has visited victory lane. Just 11 cars finished the crash-filled race, but the most serious incident was the last one.
Then-race leader Sage Karam crashed and debris from his car struck Justin Wilson in the head, who has been airlifted to a local hospital with a head injury. Karam was also taken to a local hospital via ground due to a right foot injury.
RHR thinking about Wilson
"It was a fantastic race," said the race winner. "I mean, today's race was phenomenal. But first and foremost we're thinking about Justin. I actually thought when we won the race, just prior to that, I was told he was in the ambulance with Sage going to get checked. I thought everything was fine. Come to find out, it wasn't that straightforward.
"Thoughts and prayers with him. He has a family, just like I do. He's a great friend, a teammate. Can't say enough about the guy on and off the racetrack. Thinking about his family, for sure. His two daughters. Can't imagine.
"So, you know, these cars are inherently dangerous with the open cockpit like that, head exposed. Maybe in the future we can work towards some type of -- we've seen some concept renderings of something that resemble as canopy, not a full jet fighter canopy, but something that can give us a little protection but keep the tradition of the sport."
Title battle shifts in favor of Montoya
Graham Rahal took a massive hit in the points and on the race track when he and Tristan Vautier had a coming together. The title hopeful finished 20th and heads into the finale 34 points back of Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished third. Scott Dixon remains third, 47 points adrift of the Team Penske driver. With double points on the line, Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Josef Newgarden are also still eligible.
"Unfortunately, just driving against a guy there who isn't using his head," Rahal said of Vautier. "He's a part-timer, trying to prove himself again. He did mistakes like this his first year, lost his ride and it's a hard thing. I think Tristan is a talented guy, but in a position like that, you just don't do that."
After two aborted starts, the race was very stop-and-go with twelve cautions. Along with the aforementioned drivers, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Jack Hawksworth, and Sebastien Bourdais crashed out of the race in various incidents.
Inexperience shows at Pocono
"To be honest with you, a lot of these guys here are not used to oval racing. They're not used to the give-and-take. They don't understand the give-and-take," Montoya said of the unusually high attrition during in this 500-miler.
"The young kids, they don't understand it. They race lap five like it's the last two laps of the race and they're going for a win, when they're running 18th. It's amazing. That causes a lot of the crashes.
"We're going way too fast."
With the new aero kits, the racing at Pocono turned out to be a mutation of what we saw at Indianapolis with a large pack of cars snaking down the straights and drivers attempting to overtake before entering the corner.
Despite frequent yellows with over 25 percent of the race behind the pace car, there were still a total of 34 lead changes between twelve different drivers. Newgarden led the most laps at 47.
|1||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||200||3:25'08.1095|
|2||67||Josef Newgarden||CFH Racing||200||3:25'08.2148|
|3||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske||200||3:25'08.6791|
|4||1||Will Power||Team Penske||200||3:25'09.5802|
|5||26||Carlos Munoz||Andretti Autosport||200||3:25'10.1098|
|6||14||Takuma Sato||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||200||3:25'11.6262|
|7||22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||200||3:25'12.6120|
|8||5||Ryan Briscoe||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||200||3:25'12.9092|
|9||9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||200||3:25'13.7952|
|10||7||James Jakes||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||200||3:25'14.4089|
|11||98||Gabby Chaves||Bryan Herta Autosport||197||3:21'56.8043|
|12||83||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||193||3:18'33.0223|
|13||18||Pippa Mann||Dale Coyne Racing||185||3:25'16.0246|
|14||8||Sage Karam||Chip Ganassi Racing||179||2:55'14.5242|
|15||25||Justin Wilson||Andretti Autosport||179||2:55'18.7599|
|16||3||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske||166||2:41'23.3630|
|17||20||Ed Carpenter||CFH Racing||156||2:32'09.5754|
|18||27||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||138||2:11'46.7356|
|19||10||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing||131||2:02'32.4075|
|20||15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||92||1:20'46.5302|
|21||19||Tristan Vautier||Dale Coyne Racing||92||1:20'46.8264|
|22||41||Jack Hawksworth||A. J. Foyt Enterprises||82||1:09'31.9701|
|23||11||Sebastien Bourdais||KV Racing Technology||36||30'44.3424|
|24||4||Stefano Coletti||KV Racing Technology||19||14'33.5287
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