Maiden oval victory for Pagenaud
The reigning IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud scored at Phoenix International Raceway his maiden victory at oval tracks and also his first win in 2017 season.
The Frenchman profited from a full course yellow came out due to a crash by Takuma Sato. Pagenaud was the only driver who had not pitted at that point and took the lead. He had a solid advantage to his rivals and at the end he was 9.1028 seconds ahead of his Team Penske colleague Will Power. Ed Carpenter’s JR Hildebrand completed the podium what is his first top-three finish since he was second in the 2011 Indy 500 and his sixth career top-five. Helio Castroneves, who started from pole position, completed Team Penske’s 1-2-4 finish.
After taking 10th victory in his IndyCar career, Pagenaud took the lead in 2017 season standings with an advantage of 18 points to Chip Ganassi Racing’s driver Scott Dixon. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden is third after 4 of 17 races, 26 points Pagenaud.
The next race on calendar is the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course on May 13.