Juan Pablo Montoya earned his first Indy car victory in nearly 14 years by prevailing in the Pocono INDYCAR 500.
The race was the fastest 500-mile Indy car race in history as Montoya’s average speed of 202.402 mph surpassed the previous 500-mile record set by Jimmy Vasser (197.995 mph) at Auto Club Speedway in 2002.
The win marked Montoya’s first Indy car victory since Sept. 17, 2000 at Gateway International Raceway. On Saturday he became the eighth different Verizon P1 Award winner this season, and on Sunday the eighth different race winner through 11 rounds of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. He’s the first to win from the pole this season.
The Colombian, driving the No. 2 PPG Team Penske car, led teammate Helio Castroneves across the finish line of the 2.5-mile tri-oval by 2.3403 seconds. Rookie Carlos Munoz finished third for the third time this season and Ryan Briscoe finished a season-high fourth. Scott Dixon, the winner last year at Pocono Raceway, placed fifth.
“I want thank Roger for believing in me after how many years out of open-wheel, coming back and believing I could do it. Here we are. It’s awesome that we could do it.” said Montoya, who claimed his third Indy car 500-mile race victory.
Only two other drivers in Indy car history since 1909 have gone more than 10 years between wins – John Paul Jr., who went more than 15 years between winning at Michigan and Texas Motor Speedway from 1983-98 and Babe Stapp did not win for nearly 12 years between Charlotte and Milwaukee from 1927-39.