Simon Pagenaud recovered from a difficult Qualifying performance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to take an encouraging third place in the Sunday’s one-hundred and fifth running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Team Penske driver had qualified only twenty-sixth place and was running outside of the top ten for the first half of the two hundred lap race, only for him to charge towards the front in the final stages.
He was running fourth and catching the lead battle, with Pagenaud then making a late move on Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward to claim the final spot on the Indy 500 podium.
Pagenaud credited his mechanics for an amazing job all day long in the pit lane, and he felt his #22 Menards-sponsored Chevrolet car was ‘phenomenal’.
“The Menards Chevy team did an amazing job in the pits,” said Pagenaud. “The car was phenomenal all day.
“Man, [I wish] we started up front. We were right there at the end.”
Pagenaud took time to congratulate his former team-mate Helio Castroneves for taking his fourth career Indianapolis 500 victory, and the fact at forty-six he was still able to take it to the young guns at the front of the field gives the Frenchman confidence in his longevity racing in this event.
I just want to congratulate him (Helio Castroneves, race winner),” said Pagenaud. “What he’s doing is awesome. And he is old. That gives me another ten years.
“I think we had the race car to get it done today. Certainly Chevy, amazing job with the engine power, and handling was phenomenal. I was pedal to the metal.”