Weather played a major factor in Saturday’s on-track sessions at the ABC Supply Co. 500 at Pocono Raceway. With rain nearing the track at the start time of the first practice session, the 2.5-mile track was under delay for over 45 minutes before the teams and drivers were instructed to make their way back to the garage.
After a quick downpour, track drying efforts began and the schedule was revised, cancelling qualifying and modifying practice to one two-hour session. With qualifying called off, the field of 22 lined up in order of entrant points for the double-file start, placing Rossi, Hunter-Reay, Andretti and Veach in 2nd, 6th, 17th and 18th, respectively.
CHASING THE CHECKERS.
When the green flag waved at Pocono Raceway, there was no shortage of immediate action and drama. Before the first lap was complete, the first caution period of the ABC Supply 500 was brought out and eventually led to the first of two red-flag periods.
In Turn 2, the No. 30 machine of Takuma Sato came down into the racing machine of Alexander Rossi who was in the middle of a three-wide run with Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay. The contact forced Rossi into the No. 28 machine and collected the race cars of James Hinchcliffe and Felix Rosenqvist.
Both the 27 and 28 teams worked quickly to get both cars repaired and back on track. Hunter-Reay returned to the 2.5-mile track on Lap 85 and Rossi on Lap 88, after both serving a 10-lap hold penalty for car repairs under the red flag.
Hometown favorite, Marco Andretti struggled to find grip and made wing adjustments as he came in for fuel and tires. Once the balance was back in the car, the 98 machine was a lap down and unable to advance on the circuit that favors track-position over passing.
Zach Veach started a strong race, running inside the top 10, but battled the same balance issue as teammates. He eventually was shown as high as fourth during pit sequence before ending the day in 13th.
After 128 laps, inclement weather neared the track, forcing a red flag as lightening entered in the area. Once the rain came, so did the checkered flag. With the rule book requirement of halfway +1 lap having been satisfied, Round 14 of competition was in the books.
Watch the video recap from the weekend here.