Race weekend: Saturday, Aug. 19 – Sunday, Aug. 20
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: www.poconoraceway.com/
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2016 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)
2016 Verizon P1 Award winner: Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda), 1 minute, 21.6530 seconds, 220.445 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 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 19 (live); Race, 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 20 (live); Kevin Lee is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Anders Krohn and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Zach Veach. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Jim Murphy and Michael Young reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Saturday, Aug. 19
9 – 10:15 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
1 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (Live)
5 – 5:30 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
Sunday, Aug. 20
1:10 – 1:25 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice
2:04 p.m. – Driver introductions
2:40 p.m. – Command to start engines
2:45 p.m. – ABC Supply 500 (200 laps/500 miles), NBCSN (Live)
• Josef Newgarden leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with four races to go for the first time in his career. Newgarden took the championship lead for the first time in his career following his win at Mid-Ohio on July 20.
• Josef Newgarden leads Helio Castroneves by seven points with Scott Dixon (-8) and Simon Pagenaud (-17) not too far behind. Will Power lies fifth, 52 points behind Newgarden while Graham Rahal is sixth, 58 points back. In 2016, Power trailed Pagenaud by 58 points with four races to be completed.
• There are 19 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Josef Newgarden, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi, Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe, Max Chilton, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Ed Jones, JR Hildebrand, Mikhail Aleshin, Carlos Munoz, Charlie Kimball and Conor Daly. 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: Including Josef Newgarden this season, a driver from Team Penske has led the championship with four races to go six times since 2010. Other Team Penske drivers to lead with four to go are: Will Power (2010), Helio Castroneves (2013 and 2014), Juan Pablo Montoya (2015) and Simon Pagenaud (2016). Of the previous five times, only Pagenaud went on to win the championship.
Point differential: The seven points which separate Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves is the closest margin with four to go since 2009 when Scott Dixon led Ryan Briscoe by three points. The average deficit with four races to go since 2008 is 34.7 points.
Championship-eligible drivers’ results at Pocono: Will Power (2016), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015) and Scott Dixon (2013) have won at Pocono…Josef Newgarden and Will Power have finished in the top five in three of their four starts at Pocono…Dixon, Newgarden and Power have finished in the top 10 in all four of their starts…Carlos Munoz has finished in the top seven in all three of his starts at Pocono.
• There have been nine different winners in the 13 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park, Streets of Toronto and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Texas Motor Speedway), Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500), Graham Rahal (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Raceway at Belle Isle-2), Scott Dixon (Road America) and Helio Castroneves (Iowa Speedway). Bourdais’ win at St. Pete on March 12 gave him sole possession of sixth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36 wins. Power’s win at Texas on June 10 tied him with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for ninth on the all-time list with 31 wins. Dixon’s win at Road America on June 25 was his 41st career victory and he will tie Michael Andretti for third all-time with his next win. Castroneves’ win at Iowa on July 9ended a 54-race winless streak and gave him sole possession of 12th all-time with 30 wins.
• The ABC Supply 500 will be the 24th Indy car race at Pocono Raceway. Will Power won the race in 2016. Mark Donohue won the first Indy car race at Pocono in 1971.
• A.J. Foyt, who fields the cars of Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz, 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 Will Power (2016), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015) and Scott Dixon (2013) are entered this year.
• Five drivers have won the 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 nine 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).
• Chip Ganassi Racing has one win at Pocono 2013, when it swept the podium 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 18 drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Pocono. Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato each have four starts, most among the entered drivers. Twelve entered drivers have led laps at the track (Power 141, Kanaan 115, Andretti 88, Newgarden 69, Hunter-Reay 60, Dixon 41, Gabby Chaves 31, Pagenaud 31, Castroneves 24, Kimball 5, Alexander Rossi 4 and Sato 3). Kanaan and Power have led in each of their four previous starts.
• Two rookies – Esteban Gutierrez and Ed Jones – are expected to compete. Neither rookie nor veteran driver JR Hildebrand has made an Indy car start at Pocono Raceway.
• Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 279th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 220 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti has made 196 consecutive starts, which is the fourth-longest streak in Indy car racing.
• Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 341st career Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan is fourth all-time with 339 starts.
ABC SUPPLY 500 PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “I had a great couple of weeks off where I relaxed, trained hard, focused on maximizing this end of the championship. I also did a few home improvement projects which is something I enjoy doing. I will stick to my day job, however, and I’m ready to get back on track. Pocono is a tricky racetrack with three very different corners and banking. I’m excited to get back there and continue to build a strong contention for the title. We’ve been doing well this season and we are in a tight battle for the championship which is about to get very exciting. We might have not been traveling, but the No. 1 DXC Technology Chevrolet team has been hard at work to iron out every single detail that may count toward these last four races. With always a great crowd of fans at Pocono, it’s going to be a really fun race weekend.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m excited to head to Pocono. We’re leading the points and we’re in a really good spot as a team. We’re really coming together and my team continues to give me a strong No. 2 Fitzgerald Chevrolet. Pocono is a really unique track due to its corners and banking. They aren’t kidding when they call it the ‘Tricky Triangle,’ but we worked a lot on the car during the off weeks and are ready to put on a great show for the fans at Pocono.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “I really enjoyed having some off time to spend with my family and am ready to get back to work at Pocono. The No. 3 Hitachi Chevy team worked hard at the shop even though we weren’t racing for a couple weekends. They keep giving me amazing, strong cars and we’ve been doing well. We hoped for a better finish at Mid-Ohio, but it was still a good result. Pocono is really different than other tracks due to its shape. The crowd there is always really pumped and fun to race for. Unfortunately, last season we were caught up in a wreck there that ruined our day. We put that behind us and are ready to continue our hunt for the championship with another strong performance.”
CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I look forward to getting back to the superspeedway package and a 500-mile race. It’s a huge opportunity to gain experience. We had a good car at the Indy 500, the last 500-mile race, so I’m looking forward to building on that. It would be fantastic to get another top 10 under our belts and keep the momentum going.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Last year, Pocono went really well for the team. We have had great cars at the ‘Tricky Triangle,’ so we’re looking forward to hopefully unloading with another strong package on Saturday. The short weekend is always a challenge, but we’ll keep our heads down and focus on putting the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car into a position to fight for the victory.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “The three corners are all very different at Pocono, and based on that, I think setup will be a compromise to really get the Gallagher car handling right. We need to make sure we’re in the mix at the end of the race, as this is a long 500-mile event. I’m looking forward to being back behind the wheel after a few weeks off.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda): “For us in 2013, it was a great moment to bring back open wheel racing to Pocono with a win and a 1-2-3 finish for the team. You have to put a lot of hard work into getting everything right on this track. Nothing is a given here. We’ve slipped to third in the championship with four to go here recently, but are only eight points out. This is the time to really start a string of strong finishes that will hopefully get you across the finish line in front of the other contenders.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “I think it was a really good thing for our team to have a few weeks off to regroup and get back in the game before heading into the final swing of the season. Pocono is definitely the type of track that I normally thrive at, and the ‘Tricky Triangle’ is such an interesting place to race with the three completely different corners. You have to get so many little things right to suit each corner, before you can really be successful. The No. 10 NTT Data Honda is definitely due for a win and Pocono would be a great place for that to happen.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I definitely had a great time off with (son) Beau and my wife, but am ready to get back on track. The No. 12 Verizon Chevy team put together a really awesome car at Mid-Ohio which produced a strong result. Now we’re going back to Pocono where we won last year. Another win there would be huge for us in the point standings, so we’re really going to give it our all. The team worked on the car a lot and we all feel it’s going to be another strong car.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Pocono is one of my favorites, if not the favorite. I have always been really good there, really competitive. My first year, I won in Indy Lights and my first year in an Indy car, I finished third. I’ve always had top-10 finishes, so I really love that track. It’s nice to go back to racing, it’s been a nice time off, but I think it’s nice to get back at it. Hopefully we have a good car. It’s going to be a fun race for sure. I think we need a strong result. The team has worked a lot over this break and worked really well. We have to try to find a little bit of speed to improve, so that’s good that our guys have had the time off to work. Hopefully we go there and I can give it a little bit extra, so we’ll see.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Bobby Rahal Automotive Group Honda): “The team absolutely has momentum. I think we are the hottest team other than (Team) Penske right now, if you look at it across the board. We have been extremely strong at most races recently. We’ve got some big races coming up clearly and Pocono is going to be a big one that should suit the Honda really well. Coming out of Indianapolis setup wise, we should have some good knowledge that we didn’t have going into the month that we found very late in the month. We had very fast race cars and ran up front there, so hopefully we can carry that forward and do the same at Pocono this weekend. I think we have had a fast car there the last couple of years, particularly on race day, but last year we had a puncture to the underwing after Takuma (Sato) crashed which really hurt us. There have been a lot of things that have gone against us in the races. but hopefully we’ll have a good one. Every race for us now is huge points-wise and Pocono will be no different. Every week is make-or-break for us. It’s crunch time so we need to go out there and have the absolute best result that we can. If that’s winning, we need to win, and if we have a seventh-place car, we need to finish seventh at the worst. We’re 58 points out and I think we have been the most consistent car, so we’re hoping to continue that. I think the Penskes have had advantages at certain tracks in general, but Pocono should be one where we are very strong, so my hopes and expectations are very high. Hopefully we can make it happen.”
ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ (No. 18 UNIFIN Honda): “I really don’t know what to expect heading into the Pocono race weekend. It’s my first superspeedway, and it’s different from a short oval, so it will once again be a new experience for me. The car will be different as will the approach and that will make my experience a little bit more interesting than the race weekends I’ve been used to now. I’m very much looking forward to learning something new and to experience the superspeedway.” (How do you prepare for a track like this, that you’ve never been to?): “Watching videos is very important and very helpful, but also the information that is in the pre-event report from my engineers is also very helpful. For me, that’s one of the best ways to prepare. To get all the information that I can from previous experiences, previous years, and that will obviously help me to figure out more quickly what direction we need to take with the car. Because this will be a new speedway for me, everything will be about learning. We need to be very effective in getting a good feeling and a good understanding of the car in practice to get ready for qualifying and then the race.”
ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “Pocono Raceway sounds like quite a difficult track from what I’ve heard about it. It’s certainly fast, but I feel like the team has been really strong on circuits that are quite like that, in the sense of Indy and Texas. In Texas, I was in a similar position as I had never been to the track but we rolled off the truck well. I feel confident that the team has a good idea of what we need for when we get to Pocono. I’m really looking forward to it and I really think that if we roll off strong, we can have a really solid weekend and challenge to be at the front.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I have always really enjoyed racing an Indy car at Pocono. It’s such a challenging track that requires a lot of work to get the right setup on the car. While we’ve had good cars there in the past, good results have eluded us. It’s my second-to-last race of the year, so I’m hopeful we can get the finish we have been working towards.”
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I’m excited to put my first laps in around Pocono and just really looking forward to getting back on track. Pocono’s a very unique place that I know can be pretty tough, so I’m anxious to get out there and work with the team. Hopefully, we’ll put together another solid weekend at an oval race.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Pocono Raceway is truly one of my favorite tracks. The venue is set up in a great natural environment that I always enjoy, and the track is very challenging. The characteristic of this ‘Tricky Triangle’ is so much fun (because) every corner is totally different. The sensation of speed going into (the) high-banked Turn 1 is very impressive and the balance of the car shifts, particularly (in) Turn 3, (which is) quite neutral as it (has) much less banking. It is very, very challenging. It is followed by a long straight which give us a great overtaking opportunity, too, so the race here is always exciting. We have been ultra-competitive on the superspeedway and I’m looking forward to having another super weekend in the Expedite Home Loans car.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): “Pocono is an important race to me as it is a home race, and I will have a lot of family and friends at the track cheering us on. United Fiber & Data is also based nearby, and it would be great to have a good result for Bill (Hynes), Chad (Taylor) and the whole UFD family. We’ve sat on the pole at Pocono but not on the podium, so I can’t help but feel like I have unfinished business in Long Pond.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I’ve really been looking forward to getting back to Pocono. There’s no doubt the DHL Honda has been very strong here the past few years. Last year’s unfortunate electrical issue that occurred while (we were) leading sent us to the back of the field, yet we were still able to come all the way back through the field to finish third. As a team, we feel like we have unfinished business at Pocono. Certainly, one of our best chances at a victory over the past year slipped away, so we’re looking for redemption.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “After a few weeks away from the track, the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is more motivated than ever to get out there and finish this Verizon IndyCar Series season on a high note. Pocono Raceway is such a unique track, by design. You really have to tackle each of its three corners very differently, which is what makes it so challenging. That aspect plus the 500 miles equals a rewarding race when you can get it all right.”
GABBY CHAVES (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “It’s been too long in between races for me, so I am very excited and happy to get back to competition at the highest level again. I believe we’ve done a good job of preparing the best we can and I’m ready to pay off all that hard work this weekend. I look forward to another great result for Harding Racing.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda): “Pocono is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar, and it is a special one with the whole Andretti family being from the area. We have some unfinished business to take care of this weekend from last year when our day ended prematurely after we felt like we had a car to win. This team always has something special for the superspeedways and since it is our last one of the year, we want to make sure to close this portion of the schedule out with a win for the No. 98 team.”