IndyCar Grand Prix: Simon Pagenaud ends the 20-month winless drought
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) wins the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s his third victory in that race and twelfth IndyCar Series victory in a career. Pagenaud manages to break his 23-race 20-month winless streak, climbing to the top podium spot for the first time since September 2017 at Sonoma.
The decisive move in the 85-lap race was Pagenaud’s pass on Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing #9 Honda) on the penultimate lap. He crossed the finish line 2.0469 seconds ahead of the five-time champion.
Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing/Schmidt Peterson Motorsports #60 Honda) crossed the finish line 3.7683 seconds behind the Frenchman, recording his maiden IndyCar Series podium. Matheus Leist (AJ Foyt Enterprises #4 Chevrolet) also scored his career-best result with the fourth-place finish.
The race took place on a rain-soaked Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.439-mile road course. Pagenaud started from the eighth place on the grid in the #22 Menards Chevrolet and made the greatest progress in the last 18 laps when he charged from P6 to P1. Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing) started from pole in the #10 Honda and finished the race in the eighth place.
Pagenaud’s victory is the 205th victory for Team Penske in its 51-year Indy car history. It was also the team’s 24th win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that includes 17 in the Indianapolis 500, five in the IndyCar Grand Prix and two in NASCAR.
IndyCar points leader Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) struggled to a 15th-place finish but retains the lead by six points over Dixon after five of seventeen races. Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport), who didn’t finish the race, is third in the championship, thirty points behind Dixon. Simon Pagenaud and Takuma Sato (RLL Racing) are rounding the top 5 in the championship standings.
The next event on the IndyCar Series schedule is the qualifying for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 that will take place on May 18-19. The Greatest American race is scheduled for Sunday, May 26.