Montoya Takes The Greatest Spectacle In Racing

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Juan Pablo Montoya won the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Will Power by 0.1046 of a second;  the fourth-closest finish in race history. The victory was Montoya’s second Indianapolis 500 win, after the Colombian won The Greatest Spectacle in Racing in his first start at the 2.5-mile oval in 2000.

Montoya averaged 161.341 mph in the victory.

Five of the race’s 37 lead changes occurred in the last 15 laps following a restart, when Montoya overtook Scott Dixon in Turn 1 for second place, and then Power in Turn 4 to capture the lead on Lap 197. He held the lead for the remainder of the 200-lap event.

“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.”

Montoya finished fifth last May in his return to the Indy 500 after a 14-year absence in which he won races in Formula One and NASCAR competition. And he is the first multiple winner in six Verizon IndyCar Series races this season.

He won the opener on the streets of St Petersburg, FL, and extended his points lead over Power to 25 heading into the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit doubleheader May 30-31.

Montoya, who started 15th in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, fell to 30th early in the race after being hit from behind while the race was under caution, necessitating a pit stop to change the rear wing assembly.

He then overshot his pit box on a Lap 95 stop, which cost precious seconds. Montoya worked his way up to third by Lap 102 and remained in the top five to challenge for the win.

Power was two-tenths of a second behind Montoya entering the white-flag lap, but couldn’t make a dramatic last-turn pass.

“I just had too much push when he got by,” Power said. “I had to lift on that last lap. He was definitely better when he got behind me. That’s why he got the run. Anywhere else I’d be happy with second, but (not) here. It was a great month overall; first, first and second, second.”

Power won the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 from the pole and started second in the “500” in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Kimball finished 0.7950 of a second back in third, a career best in five Indy 500 starts, after starting 14th in the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Dixon, who led a field-high 84 laps, was 1.0292 seconds arrears in fourth place in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.

Graham Rahal, who started 17th in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, finished fifth.

1. (15) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $2,449,055
2. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $792,555
3. (14) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $564,055
4. (1) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $615,805
5. (17) Graham Rahal, Honda, 200, Running, $439.555
6. (8) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running, $412,055
7. (5) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $482,555
8. (10) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $246,805
9. (9) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $382,055
10. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $307,805
11. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $378,555
12. (31) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 200, Running, $368,805
13. (24) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running, $364,055
14. (23) Townsend Bell, Chevrolet, 200, Running, $218,555
15. (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 200, Running, $355,555
16. (26) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 200, Running, $399,055
17. (20) Alex Tagliani, Honda, 200, Running, $203,305
18. (19) James Jakes, Honda, 200, Running, $347,555
19. (18) Simona de Silvestro, Honda, 200, Running, $200,305
20. (11) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 200, Running, $345,500
21. (6) Justin Wilson, Honda, 199, Running, $211,305
22. (25) Pippa Mann, Honda, 197, Running, $206,805
23. (27) Sebastian Saavedra, Chevrolet, 175, Contact, $200,305
24. (28) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 175, Contact, $205,055
25. (29) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 175, Contact, $344,555
26. (4) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 151, Contact, $375,555
27. (33) James Davison, Honda, 116, Mechanical, $344,055
28. (32) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 116, Mechanical, $344,055
29. (13) Oriol Servia, Honda, 112, Contact, $201,805
30. (12) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 112, Contact, $344,055
31. (30) Bryan Clauson, Chevrolet, 61, Contact, $200,305
32. (21) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 0, Contact, $344,055
33. (22) Conor Daly, Honda, 0, Mechanical, $201,805

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Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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