Juan Pablo Montoya has won the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season opener at St. Petersburg, continuing to exhibit the dominance he did in 2015 before losing the championship to Scott Dixon in a tiebreaker.
Montoya led 44 of the race’s 110 laps Sunday after passing rookie Conor Daly following a Lap 63 restart. His Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, who led the race’s opening laps, followed the 39-year old across the finish line in second.
Team Chevy and Penske nearly earned a sweep of the podium at St. Pete, however Andretti Autosport-Honda driver Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to work his way around Helio Castroneves with three laps left in the race to take third.
The Penske squad may have had an even stronger showing had polesitter Will Power not been sidelined with a concussion earlier in the day. Power suffered the injury in a crash in practice on Friday, but wasn’t officially diagnosed with a concussion until Sunday. He was replaced by Oriol Servia, who was forced to the back of the field as a result of the change.
Servia made up time and positions following the green flag, however his progress was all for nothing after he was involved in an eight-car accident caused by Carlos Munoz. The wreck also claimed Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and other big names. Servia would go on to finish 18th.
The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Phoenix International Raceway on April 2nd for the Phoenix Grand Prix. Click here for full results from St. Petersburg.