Pagenaud revels in ‘phenomenal’ Long Beach result

Credit: Richard Dowdy / IndyCar

Simon Pagenaud was able to climb from the back of the grid following a penalty during qualifying for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday to finish the 85-lap race fifth.

The Team Penske driver was deemed to have hindered team-mate Helio Castroneves during the qualifying session and as a result his times were deleted, meaning he started the race from twenty-first on the grid, but made a number of good overtakes to finish inside the top five.

Even a change of strategy and a puncture could not halt Pagenaud’s charge, and it left the Frenchman feeling positive after a second consecutive race of moving through the field for a good result.

“It was exciting. At the beginning we were able to pass a lot of cars,” said Pagenaud. “The Menards Chevrolet was phenomenal all weekend.

“I was really excited before the race because I knew we had such a strong weapon. It was all about having the right strategy to make it work. We actually switched strategies because it was going so well at the beginning.

“The flat tyre set us back a little, but it was a good championship day. I’m so proud of the team. Everyone worked really hard to come out of here with a good result.”