2013 Pocono IndyCar 400
|11th round of the 2013 IndyCar Series season|
|Date||July 7, 2013|
|Official name||Pocono IndyCar 400|
|Location||Long Pond, Pennsylvania|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi / 4.023 km
400 mi / 643.737 km
|Weather||Temperatures up to 91 °F (33 °C); wind speeds up to 11.1 miles per hour (17.9 km/h)|
|Driver||Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport)|
|First||Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|Second||Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|Third||Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
The 2013 Pocono IndyCar 400 fueled by Sunoco, the twentieth running of the event, was an IndyCar Series race held on July 7, 2013, at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. The race was the eleventh in the 2013 IndyCar Series season. The event made a return to the IndyCar schedule after a 23-year hiatus. Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport won the pole position, while Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon won the race.
Pocono Raceway held an IndyCar race from 1971–1989, though as a 500-mile race, with the event ending after Pocono owner Joseph Mattioli chose not to return, citing the rivalry between the USAC and CART as a factor. The final race at the track was won by Danny Sullivan.
On October 1, 2012, IndyCar announced that the Pocono race will make a return for 2013. However, the race was shortened by 100 miles to 400, as a request by ABC to fit the time window. The race became a part of the IndyCar Triple Crown of Motorsport, in which if a driver wins the Indianapolis 500, the Pocono IndyCar 400, and the season-ending MAVTV 500, they will win $1 million.
The first ten races of the 2013 season were split by Andretti Autosport and other teams, with Andretti drivers James Hinchcliffe winning three races and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay winning two. The other five races were won by Takuma Sato (A. J. Foyt Enterprises), Tony Kanaan (KV Racing Technology), Mike Conway (Dale Coyne Racing), Simon Pagenaud (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) and Helio Castroneves (Team Penske).
Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport won the pole position after recording a lap speed of 221.273 mph (356.104 km/h), breaking the record set by Emerson Fittipaldi in 1989, who had a speed of 211.175 mph (339.853 km/h). Andretti's teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay (220.892 mph (355.491 km/h)) and James Hinchcliffe (220.431 mph (354.749 km/h)) started second and third, respectively. The last time a team swept the front row in qualifying was in the 1988 Indianapolis 500 with Penske Racing. Will Power (220.286 miles per hour (354.516 km/h)) started fourth, while Tony Kanaan (219.625 mph (353.452 km/h)) and Helio Castroneves (219.581 mph (353.381 km/h)) started fifth and sixth, respectively. Scott Dixon (219.500 mph (353.251 km/h), Takuma Sato (219.124 mph (352.646 km/h)), Simon Pagenaud (218.859 mph (352.219 km/h)) and Simona de Silvestro (218.590 mph (351.787 km/h)) rounded out the top ten. Meanwhile, the fourth Andretti driver, E. J. Viso, was in position to start in fourth until he hit the wall during qualifying; Alex Tagliani had also hit the wall while qualifying. Viso and Tagliani started 22nd and 24th, respectively. For Dixon, despite qualifying in seventh, was penalized ten spots due to conflicts between manufacturer Honda and IndyCar regarding the 2,000 miles (3,200 km) engine change rule. Dixon was not the only driver penalized for unapproved engine changes; among those forced to move back were: Dario Franchitti, Pippa Mann, Justin Wilson, Viso and Tagliani.
The race started with James Hinchcliffe hitting the turn 1 wall on the first lap. Later, on lap 61, his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay was hit from behind by Takuma Sato while entering pit lane, suffering right front wheel and right wing damage, and was forced to go to the garage. The other Andretti Autosport driver on the front row, Marco Andretti, led 88 laps, but ran out of fuel as he crossed the finish line. For the other competitors, Scott Dixon, who had led only one lap all season (at the Indianapolis 500), led 38 laps, including the final 27 laps, and guided Chip Ganassi Racing to its 100th win, Honda's 200th win, and Dixon's 30th career victory. The win was Dixon's first since 2012 at Mid-Ohio. His teammates Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti finished second and third, marking the first time a team swept the podium since 2011, when Team Penske had Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe in the top three at Sonoma Raceway, and at a Triple Crown race since Bobby Unser, Rick Mears and Mario Andretti of Team Penske finished in the top three spots at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1979. Power finished fourth, Josef Newgarden fifth, Simon Pagenaud sixth, Justin Wilson, Castroneves, Ed Carpenter, and Andretti closed out the top ten. Hunter-Reay finished 20th, and Hinchcliffe finished 24th.
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan led portions of the race, but at lap 109 he clipped his front wing navigating lap traffic. While Kanaan was able to continue, the team was forced to change the front wing under green flag conditions ending any chance Kanaan had at winning the second leg of the triple crown. Kanaan finished a disappointing 13th.
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2013 Iowa Corn Indy 250
2013 Honda Indy Toronto
1989 Pocono 500
|Pocono IndyCar 400||Next race:
2014 Pocono IndyCar 500