Simon Pagenaud was unable to make the most of his pace of his Team Penske car during the latter stages of the race at Barber Motorsports Park but was able to continue the good results he has shown so far in 2017 after taking third behind team-mate Josef Newgarden and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon on Sunday.
The reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and race winner at Barber in 2016 felt he lost the chance of victory when he ran across the grass as he found himself under attack from Newgarden at turn five early in the race, but despite a caution period closing the pack up, he could not attack as he would have wanted, instead being forced to settle for third.
“You’re racing and you just want to go as hard as you can, but we couldn’t do it,” said Pagenaud. “The Menards Chevy had tremendous pace at the end. We struggled a little bit at the starts, and we adjusted the car during the race. I was very happy with the reds and on blacks at the end, it was good.
“We lost a lot of spots when Josef (Newgarden) hit me and I went in the grass in (Turn) 5. That’s where I think we potentially lost the race win, but it is what it is.
“It was a good day overall. We transformed a tough start this season into good results and I think that’s the key for the championship.”