The Penske team would pit over the next two laps, staggering themselves to prevent any inter-team collisions. Power and Castroneves would each lead for a lap. Montoya would also lead for a few laps as the rest of the cars cycled through. Penske opted to bring him in before the Lap 13 restart to top up with fuel, allowing him to stretch his next pit window. Unfortunately, when he came into pit under green and in the lead, he overshot the pit box and lost 5 extra seconds to the field as well as a couple positions as he was pushed back into position by his crew.
With pit stops complete, the top of the order remained Dixon, Kanaan, and Pagenaud, with Power and Castroneves not far behind.
Power and Castroneves would run in the Top 5, seemingly content to stay close to the front, but not fight for the lead. They both seemed to be waiting for the latter half of the race to make their moves.
Despite his early trouble, Montoya made his way into the Top 10 by Lap 65. That’s right, he moved up 20 positions in 50 laps! His car was very quick and Montoya was driving like a man possessed; a far cry from the laid back NASCAR style he exhibited just a few short years ago. This was the Montoya that won Indy as a rookie and gave Michael Schumacher fits in Formula 1.
While avoiding faster traffic, USAC Sprint car racer Bryan Clauson, in the 88, ran wide in Turn 4 and hit the wall, bringing out the second yellow of the day. This would bring the field into the pits, and put Montoya back onto the main pit strategy.
Team Penske won the Pit Stop Competition on Carb day (with Castroneves) and their skill was able to vault Pagenaud into the lead ahead of Dixon, Kanaan, Castroneves, and Power. Montoya was now up to 9th, helped a bit by the fact that some cars had pitted just before Clauson’s crash.