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Montoya snares 2nd Indy 500 victory

The early stages of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 didn’t go as Juan Pablo Montoya had planned, but the finish sure did.
Roaring through the field after an on-track incident with Simona de Silvestro that placed him 30th, Montoya captured his second Indianapolis 500 race victory by just .105 seconds ‘ the fourth-closest in the history of the event ‘ over Team Penske teammate Will Power on Sunday.
Montoya, who also won the race in 2000, earned $2,449,055 from an overall purse of $13,397,315 for his victory.
During the post-race press conference, Montoya beamed from ear to ear with his car owner, Roger Penske, to his right and Team Penske President Tim Cindric to his left.
‘It was awesome,’ Montoya said. ‘This is what racing in IndyCar is all about, racing down to the wire. These guys, Team Penske, did an amazing job. I had the feeling that I had a really good car, but that fight at the end was really, really hard. All the way down to the wire. This is pretty awesome.
‘We kept adding down-force and adjusting the car. It was fun because after the caution, when I was running like eighth, I could barely keep up with them. I’m like, ‘We don’t have anything.’ As we kept adjusting the car, (I thought) ‘Oh, that’s a little better, that’s a little better.’ That’s what you got to do, stay on top of the track,’ Montoya said.
Car owner Roger Penske, who picked up his 16th Indy 500 victory, gushed about his driver.
‘You give that guy the bit and put it in his mouth, and he doesn’t give up,’ Penske said.
Regarding the early incident with Montoya, de Silvestro chalked it up to a mistake on her part. Approaching Turn Three on the seventh lap, she collided with the right-rear wheel guard on Montoya’s Chevrolet. He then overshot his pit box on a Lap 95 stop, which cost additional seconds. Montoya worked his way up to third by Lap 102 and remained in the top five to challenge for the win.
‘It didn’t hurt him as much as it did us, I guess. It was a long day,’ de Silvestro said.
Five-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon paced the field to the green flag, which was waved by actor and racer Patrick Dempsey. The green didn’t last long as 20-year-old Sage Karam and Takuma Sato made contact after the first turn, resulting in Karam’s car being taken out of the race and Sato going three laps down while trying to get his ABC Supply Honda back in the fight.
The two drivers had separate takes on the incident.
‘There was a bit of drama at Turn 1-was really disappointed. I was staying in my line outside going to Turn 1 outside and exited Turn 1 outside and it all looked good. The No. 8 car was just coming up and my front wheel was already in front of his rear wheel so I could do nothing. I was sandwiched between him and the wall. Unfortunately I had to come back to the pit and replace the front toelink and got a couple laps down,’ Sato said.
Karam saw things differently.
‘I don’t know what Sato’s doing. Kind of a bonehead move. He sees me and (Ryan) Hunter-Reay side by side and the first lap he’s trying to make it three wide. I just don’t get it. The track’s clean right now, it’s swept so there’s no marbles up there and you can run high, but no reason to push a three-wide issue. I mean, just a very stupid move on his part. We had a good start, going through Turn 1 picked up about two spots already, was running side by side with Hunter-Reay, everything was cool. And with Sato, he had a big run, yeah, but he doesn’t need to go popping outside on Lap 1, Turn 1. It just doesn’t make sense. It ruins a lot of people’s races, you know.’
By Lap 150, Sato was back on the lead lap and wound up finishing 13th.
Five of the race’s 37 lead changes occurred in the last 15 laps following a restart when Montoya, who led four times for a total of nine laps, passed Scott Dixon in Turn One for second place before overtaking Power exiting Turn Four to capture the lead on Lap 197. He held the lead for the remainder of the 200-lap event. The nine laps led by Montoya is the third-fewest laps led by a winner. Dan Wheldon led one lap in 2011 and Joe Dawson led two laps in 1912.
Power, who earlier this month won the second annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course, earned $792,555 in driving his No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to a runner-up finish, his best in eight ‘500’ starts. Power led the race five times for a total of 23 laps.
Charlie Kimball, who started the race 14th on the grid, also posted a career best Indianapolis 500 performance in finishing third in his fifth start driving the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Kimball led the race twice for 10 laps and earned $564,055.
Finishing fourth was pole-sitter and 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Dixon in his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Dixon, who earned $615,805 for his performance on Sunday ‘ which included $100,000 for earning the Verizon P1 Award as pole winner for the second time in his career ‘ led the most laps of any driver with 84. He also led the most laps in 2008 (115), 2009 (73) and in 2011 (73), and now joins Mario Andretti and Louis Meyer as the only drivers to lead the most laps of an Indianapolis 500 on four occasions. Montoya’s third teammate, Simon Pagenaud, was runner-up in most laps led with 35. A front-wing issue forced Pagenaud to pit late and start 17th on the final restart. He charged back to finish 10th.
The 200-lap race saw six caution periods for 47 laps, including five incidents involving a total of 11 cars.
Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 winner, crashed on his own on Lap 152, but walked away. Last year’s race champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, was 15th. Three-time winner Helio Castroneves ran near the front most of the day but finished seventh overall.
Final results (starting position in parentheses):
1. (15) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
2. (2) Will Power, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
3. (14) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
4. (1) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
5. (17) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
6. (8) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
7. (5) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
8. (10) J.R. Hildebrand, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
9. (9) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
10. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
11. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
12. (31) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
13. (24) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
14. (23) Townsend Bell, Dallara-Chevrolet, 200, Running.
15. (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
16. (26) Gabby Chaves, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
17. (20) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
18. (19) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
19. (18) Simona de Silvestro, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
20. (11) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 200, Running.
21. (6) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 199, Running.
22. (25) Pippa Mann, Dallara-Honda, 197, Running.
23. (27) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevrolet, 175, Contact.
24. (28) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 175, Contact.
25. (29) Stefano Coletti, Dallara-Chevrolet, 175, Contact.
26. (4) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevrolet, 151, Contact.
27. (33) James Davison, Dallara-Honda, 116, Mechanical.
28. (32) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 116, Mechanical.
29. (13) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 112, Contact.
30. (12) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevrolet, 112, Contact.
31. (30) Bryan Clauson, Dallara-Chevrolet, 61, Contact.
32. (21) Sage Karam, Dallara-Chevrolet, 0, Contact.
33. (22) Conor Daly, Dallara-Honda, 0, Mechanical.