Pagenaud Tunes Up For Indy 500 With Grand Prix Win
(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Earning his first win of the 2019 season, Simon Pagenaud overtook Scott Dixon with two laps remaining and held on for a 2.04 second victory margin at the 6th running of the IndyCar Grand Prix on May 11. His 12th career victory earned Pagenaud 51 points toward the driver’s championship and bumped him into 4th place, 6 points ahead of Takuma Sato and 8 behind Alexander Rossi.
“It was amazing, the whole race. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I thought everybody was saving fuel. We were just so fast,” said the native of Montmorillon, France. “This is the sweetest win I’ve ever had, I guess.”
Pagenaud is the fifth different winner in five NTT IndyCar Series events in 2019.
For Dixon, it was the third straight year he’s finished in second place at the race and the fourth time he’s had a podium finish this season. The 43 points Dixon gathered on the 85 lap, 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course gives him 176 on the year, 30 head of Rossi and just 6 behind series leader Josef Newgarden, who finished 15th on the day.
“It was a solid effort. It was a tricky race. It sucks to lead that many laps (39) and come up short,” said Dixon. “But, again, congrats to Simon. He drove a hell of a race, and it’s nice to see him back in victory lane.”
Completing the course in 2:00:31.8849, Jack Harvey was 3.7 seconds behind Pagenaud with an average speed of 103.2mph. The 3rd place finish was a career best for Harvey as well as his third top-10 finish this year.
“It wasn’t an easy race, being half dry and half wet, but we put on a great show for everybody at AutoNation and SiriusXM,” Harvey said post-race. “You can see how happy these guys are at getting a podium. Can you imagine how happy we’re going to be when we get a win? That’s where we’re going.”
2019 INDYCAR Top-10 after five races
- 1. Josef Newgarden 182
- 2. Scott Dixon 176
- 3. Alexander Rossi 146
- 4. Simon Pagenaud 138
- 5. Takuma Sato 132
- 6. Will Power 119
- 7. Graham Rahal 113
- 8. Sebastien Bourdais 111
- 9. Ryan Hunter-Reay 109
- 10. James Hinchcliffe 107
Next up is the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. With just three days off, drivers will begin their practice sessions for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing on May 14 ahead of qualifying which starts four days later.
Lead image courtesy of Chris Owens.