Simon Pagenaud: “I am super happy with second”

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Simon Pagenaud continued his strong start to the Verizon IndyCar Series season with his second consecutive runners-up spot in the opening oval race of the season at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday evening.

The Team Penske driver jumped a number of places during the final round of pit stops to move into second, and was able to keep in touch with leader Scott Dixon until the chequered flag, but was unable to get close enough to make an attempt for victory against the Chip Ganassi Racing driver.

Despite this, Pagenaud was happy with his evening’s work under the lights at Phoenix, and now leads the early season IndyCar standings.

“Big thanks to the guys! The car was really good,” insisted Pagenaud. “Clean air was everything today. Unfortunately we missed it a little bit in qualifying.

“We got the car dialled in two stops before the end. We just saved fuel in traffic and made it in the pit stops. My guys were just fantastic. It’s a team sport.

“I mean I am super happy with second. It definitely wasn’t our strong suit in the past, short ovals, so being strong and finishing second and running with Dixon at the end shows that we are in good shape. So I am ecstatic right now.”

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