LONG POND, Pa. –The home team didn’t have the advantage in the ABC Supply 500 today at Pocono Raceway.
Starting 14th, Tony Kanaan’s race in the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet ended after just
15 laps with a throttle sensor failure which caused a loss in power. The team determined it would take too long to fix and parked the car. Kanaan was running eighth at the time.
“Tough break. The first mechanical failure of the year which is pretty remarkable I think," Kanaan said. "You can’t rely on parts all the time so this team has been really, really reliable on that and it (this issue) wasn’t even on our side. It’s a shame that it happened in obviously our home race but that’s racing. Those things happen and you have to expect that. You hate it but we just need to turn the page. This day is done.”
Matheus Leist, who started 20th in the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet, finished 11th which is his best finish of the season to date. It was a solid performance by the 19-year-old rookie in just his second 500-mile race. Throughout the 200-lap race, no changes were made to the car on the pit stops which were all in the seven-second bracket.
“Great to be racing here at Pocono,” Leist said, adding, “We had great support from the fans mainly from the ABC Supply family. We didn’t have the fastest car – maybe top 10 but 11th place is okay. Looking forward to the Gateway race (in St. Louis) now. We’ll try to maximize everything and get our first top 10 under our belts.”
The race was halted for nearly two hours after a five car crash on lap seven which resulted in rookie Robert Wickens being transported to the hospital with injuries to his arm and lower extremities. The other drivers, James Hinchcliffe, Pietro Fittipaldi, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato escaped injury. Track crews took nearly two hours to repair the wall and catch fencing in Turn 2 where the accident occurred. Once restarted, the race ran caution free to the finish.
It was the second incident in the race which was slowed on lap one for a two-car crash involving Graham Rahal and Spencer Pigot. Neither driver was injured.
Alexander Rossi won the ABC Supply 500 and he dominated from the drop of the green flag, leading 180 laps. Second through fifth were Will Power, Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Josef Newgarden.
The Verizon IndyCar Series teams will head to St. Louis this week to compete in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park, a one mile oval track. The race will be broadcast Saturday night, Aug. 25th starting at 8 p.m. ET.
After it was determined that Kanaan would not return to the race, he was invited to become a guest commentator on the race broadcast by NBC Sports Network, which he did -- and received rave reviews.
But don’t expect Kanaan to embark on a new career anytime soon.