(WEST ALLIS, WI) – Sebastien Bourdais collected his fifth Indy car victory on an oval, his first since winning at The Milwaukee Mile in 2006, and 34th win overall by dominating the second half of the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest.
Driving the No. 11 Chevrolet, Bourdais tied Al Unser Jr for seventh on the all-time victory list.
Bourdais, who led three times for a field-high 118 laps, built a large enough cushion on his Verizon IndyCar Series competitors that he retained the lead after pitting on Lap 213 of 250 on the 1.015-mile historic Milwaukee Mile oval. He then held off Helio Castroneves, who started last in the 24-car field in the No. 3 Chevrolet because of a qualifying rules violation, on a Lap 232 restart, and sped away to a 2.2366-second victory.
Bourdais led 117 laps from the pole in winning a 197-lap timed race at The Mile in June 2006 for his fourth consecutive victory of that season.
“On these ovals, you can go from hero to zero and back to hero again. I guess that’s my story,” said Bourdais, who qualified 11th on a day that had both qualifying and the race on Sunday. “It’s so much about momentum when you can feel one with the car, and today the guys gave me an awesome car. Never did I think we could come up through the field and pass everybody. It’s just unbelievable.“
Graham Rahal, who won the MAVTV 500 on June 27, finished third in the No. 15 Honda and Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth in the No. 2 Chevrolet.
“I was a lot quicker than Helio (Castroneves) at the end, but I just couldn’t get around him,” Said Rahal. “This is a good points day for us. It’s been a good year for us and this is number five for podiums. We wanted to beat Helio bad, wanted to pull that gap in points, but it looks like he’s tied with us. We’ll just keep pushing away.
Pole sitter Josef Newgarden led 109 laps and finished fifth in the No. 67 Chevrolet.
”We just had to do too much work later in the race to try and get by people. I could only get so many spots, but our car was fast,” Newgarden explained. “It was all about track position today. We lost out on that a little bit, but it was still a great effort and a great weekend for CFH Racing.”
Will Power’s No. 1 Chevrolet was collected in a Lap 131 incident off a restart when the No. 5 Honda, driven by Ryan Briscoe, spun in Turn 4. It was the second consecutive DNF for Power, allowing Montoya to increase his championship points lead.
Scott Dixon, making his 250th Indy car start, overtook Power for second in the standings with a seventh-place finish in the No. 9 Chevrolet.
“We had a tough day with the Cottonelle car. We went off sequence and led for a while, and the race kind of came to us later on with the way the yellows fell,” Dixon described the day. “In the end we shuffled back a bit and lost some valuable points, which is tough to swallow with just four races to go. We’ll keep fighting, though, and be ready to make up ground in Iowa next weekend.”
Montoya takes a 54-point advantage over Dixon into the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway on July 18, this Saturday. Power fell to fifth in the standings with 369 points, one marker behind Rahal and Castroneves.
“No question it makes it tough,” said Power, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion who finished 22nd. “We just have to focus and move on to the next one.”