Pit Road Scuffle Ends the Day for Rossi and Castroneves at Pocono

Photo Credit: Kreistina Blinova

Everything was going fine in the ABC Supply 500 for a selection of drivers, till some contact on pit road.     

Alexander Rossi, driver of the No.98 Castrol Edge/Curb Honda, had a pretty decent run going at the start of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. He started the race in the seventh position and quietly made his way to the front, taking the lead on Lap 32 but on the next lap he had to make his green flag pit stop.   He quietly made his way back to the front and on Lap 62, he took the lead again but only for one lap.

The American driver then came down pit road again for another green flag stop. After completing his stop while leaving pit road, he was involved in an accident with Charlie Kimball and Helio Castroneves. Contact took place between Rossi and Kimball with Rossi’s car going airborne for a second landing on Castroneve’s car. Castroneves was able to get out of the car with help and was taken to the care center were he was released.

“Everyone is going to have their own opinion but I was staying in the slow lane, (Charlie) Kimball was obviously trying to come in his box but then Helio (Castroneves) was being released,” Rossi quoted. “So I don’t know. It’s very unfortunate. This car was awesome today. We were at the front with relative ease and we were waiting for the end to go to the front for the final time. Obviously I’m not in charge of releasing cars so I don’t know the gap that needs to be had. I was sent. I knew there was a car to my right and I stayed in the slow lane. So, that was all I could do.”

Charlie Kimball, driver of the No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet, started the race in 16th but slowly moved his way into the top-10. He was having a good run until Lap 63 when the pit road incident happened. Luckily, Kimball was lucky and was able to continue. 

“I don’t know what the 98 (Alexander Rossi) and 3 (Helio Castroneves) were doing there,” Kimball added.   “We were coming into pit lane and they just sent the cars into the side of me. I’m just really disappointed with all of that. We had such a good car. The 83 crew has just really been on it all weekend with fixing the car and having to go to the backup car right before qualifying. I had so much confidence in the car every time I climbed in and for something silly that was completely out of our control on pit lane to put us back like that is just frustrating. After the incident on pit lane, the No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet just wasn’t the same. We just had to try and finish the race clean, get a lap back when we could, and really just help our teammates by staying out of the way when we could.”

Helio Castroneves, driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, started the race in the fourth and stayed in the top-five consistently till the incident. 

“Inside the car, I was actually more protected than what it looked like. Sometime people don’t realize the Verizon IndyCar series are so much about safety and today is the proof of that. Very glad that nobody got hurt. It’s just a shame. The Hitachi Chevy was really having a good day and we just had another good pit stop when I was coming out of the pits. All of a sudden there was a car on top of me. It was a little strange to be honest. The Team Penske guys worked really hard to try and fix the car but there was a lot of damage. It’s certainly unfortunate because this will hurt us in the championship battle but our team will never give up. We’ll move on to Texas where, fortunately, we’ve had a lot of success.”