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Montoya claims first win since return to IndyCar

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 06 2014 03:12:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 06 2014 03:12:27 PM CDT

LONG POND, Pa. -- Fourteen years between IndyCar race wins, but Juan Pablo Montoya realized it was worth the wait Sunday at Pocono Raceway.

Montoya posted his first victory in the series since a 2000 win at Gateway International Raceway, which was before he went to Formula One and NASCAR.

So much about U.S. open-wheel racing since then, with the emergence of Helio Castroneves, Montoya's Team Penske teammate, and the arrival of three other of Montoya's Colombian countrymen to the series.

But Montoya, 38, showed he can still win races, even with a broken front wing plate.

Montoya's contact with Penske teammate Will Power came on the final restart. Montoya was trying to swing to the outside of Power when he clipped the No. 12 car.

"You have to (try it)," Montoya said. "Either you're going to do it or you're (not). That was the winning move, and I had to do it."

Power's race went downhill from there. A few laps later, Power was in third place ahead of Castroneves when they roared toward Turn 1. Power went to the inside in anticipation of Castroneves making a move and then Power went a second time in that direction.

IndyCar officials didn't like Power's move any more than Castroneves did, and a few laps later the black flag came as a penalty for Power's action.

That could be a key moment in the season as Power and Castroneves are now tied.

Team Penske president Tim Cindric didn't like what he saw.

"Get your head on straight," Cindric told Power on the team's radio.

Power didn't like what he saw on the television replay and seemed irritated that the announcers were probably blaming him. He first said he was trying to let Castroneves pass him.

"I was heading that way, heading over, over, over," he said as the replay unfolded.

Then he conceded: "That is my teammate."

He followed: "I don't know what to say, another drive-through, another good opportunity lost."

Castroneves said it proved "there is no team orders."

Power suffered his fifth penalty in eight races, a drain on what should have been strong finishes.

Neither Power nor Castroneves have won a series championship. After entering the race with a 39-point lead, Power now has Castroneves tied with him as Castroneves finished second, 2.3 seconds behind Montoya.

Montoya jumped to fourth. He's back.

NOTES: Rookie driver Jack Hawksworth suffered a myocardial contusion (a heart muscle bruise) in Saturday's crash at Pocono Raceway and was held out of the race. Hawksworth initially complained only of a sore left knee, but the 23-year-old Englishman later felt ill and was held overnight at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa. ... Hawksworth's Bryan Herta Autosport car broke its tub and gearbox, and the team could have fixed it to race, but with no other practice it wasn't fair to insert another driver. ... Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay lost his chance for a rare Triple Crown (wins on the three 500-mile oval races) when failure in the left front suspension led to 18 laps of repairs. The third of these races is the season finale Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. He finished 18th of 22. ... Andretti Autosport had a tough race. Besides Hunter-Reay's problem, Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe were penalized for speeding on pit road.