With Will Power second place finish, Power now leads the Verizon IndyCar Series standings by 39 points over Helio Castroneves.
Juan Pablo Montoya - No. 2 Verizon - Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
· Montoya qualified the No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet in the fourth position – his best starting spot since rejoining the Verizon IndyCar Series this season – for Saturday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS).
· As the 248-lap race began, Montoya radioed that there was a problem with the handling of his Dallara/Chevrolet. A lap five caution period allowed Montoya to bring his car down pit lane, where a punctured right rear tire was discovered. Montoya restarted the race in the 18th position on lap 12.
· A veteran of 16 NASCAR Cup Series starts at TMS, Montoya wasted little time in maneuvering back to the front of the field. He was scored inside the top 10 by the 35th lap.
· As the field began to make green-flag pit stops, Montoya briefly claimed the race lead due to being on a slightly different pit strategy after his early stop. He eventually returned to pit lane for four Firestone tires and fuel at lap 60.
· After the pit stops cycled through, Montoya moved back inside the top five at lap 89. He remained at the front of the field throughout the race as he took over the lead each time pit stops began. Montoya led three times for a total of 13 laps on the evening.
· A late-race caution at lap 242 closed the gap between the second-place running Montoya and the race leader, Ed Carpenter. Unfortunately, as the race resumed, Montoya was not able to make his way around Carpenter, the eventual race winner. He also gave up the second position to Team Penske teammate Will Power, who was running fast on new tires. Montoya crossed the finish line in the third position, his best result so far the season.
· With his third-place finish, Montoya remains seventh in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings, now 147 points behind Power.
WAS TONIGHT’S THIRD-PLACE FINISH ANOTHER STEP IN YOUR PROGRESSION?
“Overall I think our Verizon Chevrolet was amazing today. Everybody on Team Penske did an amazing job. We had a flat tire right at the beginning and drove through the whole field so that was fun. We are getting better every race. It would have been nice to come out of here with a victory because I think we had a car that could have done that, but today was a lot of fun and I think a win is just around the corner.”
Helio Castroneves - No. 3 AAA Insurance - Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
· Castroneves qualified the No. 3 AAA Insurance Dallara/Chevrolet in the 14th position during the Friday evening time trial session.
· A four-time winner at Texas Motor Speedway, Castroneves radioed that his car was experiencing an oversteer condition early in the event. However, he was still able to make his way inside the top 10 at lap 22.
· Race strategist Roger Penske called Castroneves down pit road for the first time at lap 53 for four fresh Firestone tires, fuel and an adjustment to the front wing.
· As the race moved past the 100-lap mark, the AAA Chevrolet also developed an understeer condition at certain points on the track, while still experiencing oversteer on others. Penske continued to call for front wing adjustments to help his driver around the high-speed oval.
· After an off-sequence pit stop dropped Castroneves one lap down to the race leaders, the three-time Indy 500 champion was able to take a “wave around” under a lap 121 caution period to get back to lead-lap racing.
· Castroneves was able to maintain his position inside the back half of the top 10 for the remainder of the race as the AAA Chevy crossed the finish line in the eighth position.
· With Saturday night’s result, Castroneves remains second in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings. He trails leader and teammate Will Power by 39 points heading into the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston in two weeks.
TALK ABOUT YOUR TOP-10 FINISH AT TEXAS
"Unfortunately the handling was just not where it needed to be all night. The AAA Insurance guys did a fantastic job on pit road, making adjustments and giving me good pit stops. I’m not sure why we were off tonight because my teammates were so strong. We were able to maximize our finish so it wasn’t a big hit in points.”
Will Power - No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet
· Power began Sunday’s race from the front of the field after picking up his second-consecutive Verizon P1 Pole Award at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) and the 34th of his career.
· The Verizon IndyCar Series point leader entering the race at Texas Motor Speedway, Power led the field for the first 56 laps before he relinquished the lead to Montoya after making his first pit stop of the night.
· After pit stops had cycled through at lap 61, Power built a five-second lead over the second place car. He paced the field again until returning to pit road for four Firestone tires and fuel at lap 100.
· Power radioed that he was very happy with the handling of his Verizon Chevy, as the Team Penske crew made no adjustments on Power’s pit stops.
· After another stint in the lead, Power came to pit road for service at lap 170. Unfortunately, Power was speeding on pit road and INDYCAR officials assessed a “drive through” penalty that dropped Power to the sixth position in the running order.
· In the closing stage of the race, a lap 242 caution gave race strategist Tim Cindric and the Verizon team an opportunity to put four fresh tires on the No. 12 machine. After restarting from the sixth position at lap 246, Power was able to use a daring move on the outside lane to make his way up to the second spot over the final two laps.
· Power has now finished inside the top eight positions in all eight races this season and he has produced three consecutive top-two results.
· With his second place finish, Power now leads the Verizon IndyCar Series standings by 39 points over Castroneves.
TALK ABOUT THE LATE-RACE CALL TO COME TO PIT ROAD FOR TIRES
“What an awesome call by my team to get tires. I thought I just screwed it up for them again and got another drive through penalty. Those are really, really hard on my team and it’s something I need to correct immediately. Our Verizon Chevy was so strong tonight and I think (race winner) Ed and I would’ve put on a great show at the end without the penalty. But (race strategist) Tim Cindric and Dave (Faustino), my engineer, always put me in great positions. I was just happy to get back to second. It was just an awesome last lap. I really had a blast tonight.”