Simon Pagenaud wins Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

May 14, 2016

Track:    Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Race:    Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Date:     May 14, 2016
No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Start: 6th
Finish: 8th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 3rd (-82)
Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya came back from a pit lane speeding violation early in the race and finished eighth Saturday in the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Montoya started sixth in the No. 2 Verizon Chevy and raced up to fourth by Lap 5. But after his first stop, Montoya was called for speeding on pit lane and had to serve a drive-through penalty on Lap 22. He battled back to 12th place just 15th laps later and continued to gain ground as the race wore on but he was not able to work his way back up to the leaders. After crossing the finish line in eighth place, Montoya earned his fifth consecutive top-10 result to start the 2016 season. Montoya is the defending champion of the Indianapolis 500 and he will attempt to win the race for the third time in his fourth attempt on Sunday, May 29.  
Quote: "I struggled leaving the pits. I was on cold tires and I went down there and turned and the car never turned. I needed to go through the line and I didn't manage to. It was really close, so I got on the brakes and tried to make it but I didn't so I got a drive-through penalty and it pretty much ruined our day. At the beginning I was struggling a little bit, but we made a change to our Verizon Chevy and it got a lot better. At the end we had a really great car."
No. 3 hum by Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Start: 13th 
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 2 times for 7 laps
Points Position: 4th (-83 points)
Recap:  After struggling with his car setup for much of the weekend, Helio Castroneves used an early pit strategy to move up from a challenging starting position to climb through the field and finish second behind teammate Simon Pagenaud. Castroneves started 13th in Saturday's race, and went to the pits early to gain some track position. After the first round of stops cycled through, Castroneves had improved to seventh by Lap 24. After pitting early again on his second stop, Castroneves claimed the race lead when the leaders headed to pit lane under the yellow flag on Lap 40.  Castroneves battled Conor Daly and Pagenaud for the race lead and after his final stop of the race he trailed Pagenaud but stalked his teammate the rest of the way to secure his top result of the season. Castroneves led seven of the 82 laps, the third-highest total of the day.  It marked the second podium of the season for Castroneves and the 88th podium result of his IndyCar career, putting him in a tie for sixth all-time with Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr. heading into the 100th Indianapolis 500 on May 29. Castroneves has won the Indy 500 three times and he'll be trying to tie the record of four victories shared by A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.
Quote: "Great teamwork. Never gave up. The hum by Verizon Chevrolet boys were great; everybody was really in sync. We never gave up because we knew we had issues and knew we didn't have the fastest car, but we had the heart. We had the passion. We put it out there and had a little bit of luck, obviously, but it all blends together. A great sauce. It turned out to be great momentum for the Indianapolis 500. I can't thank the guys enough, but again – it was a total team effort."
No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 10th
Finish: 19th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 10th (-137)
Recap:  Will Power, the defending winner of the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, struggled Saturday to maintain pace after a spin early in the race and he ultimately produced a 19th-place finish. After starting 10th, Power's No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet spun into the grass in Turn 7 on Lap 6. Power kept the engine fired and resumed racing, but the miscue dropped him to 21st place in the 25-car field. Power tried to fight back -- by Lap 15 he was in 18th place -- but the cold conditions and lack of caution flags prevented Power from gaining ground. He continued to run right around 20th place throughout most of the race. On Lap 63, Power received a penalty for a pit speed violation, essentially ending any chance of a strong result and he ultimately came home in 19th place. The 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion will compete in his ninth Indy 500 on May 29, with high hopes for his first victory in the 100th running of the race and 50th anniversary of Team Penske.
Quote:  "Unfortunately, things didn't end the way we would have liked for the Verizon Chevy.  We just weren't good in traffic and were never able to recover from there. The front wing had some issues, so we took the time to change it during the second pit stop. Then we couldn't capitalize on that caution because we were too far behind the leader. In the end, I could have finished a lot higher without the final penalty. It just wasn't our day. The Verizon Chevy boys worked really hard today, though.  We'll just look ahead towards better results in the Indy 500."
No. 22 Menards Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start: 1st
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 82/82
Laps Led: 3 times for 57 laps
Points Position: 1st (76-point lead over second-place Scott Dixon)
Recap: Simon Pagenaud scored his third consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series victory and seventh of his career Saturday with a dominating performance in the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The victory led a 1-2 sweep for Team Penske, as Helio Castroneves finished second in the 82-lap race on the IMS road course. Pagenaud started from the pole position and led a race-high 57 laps. He lost the lead briefly in the late stages, but regained control 18 laps from the end and held it to the finish. The victory helped Pagenaud pad his lead in the IndyCar drivers' standings to 76 points over Scott Dixon. The second-year Team Penske driver also won April 17 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and April 24 in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. On Friday, Pagenaud won the pole position with a lap of 1 minute, 8.6868 seconds (127.832 mph) in the final qualifying round of the Firestone Fast Six. It was his second pole of the season and second in a row after winning the pole April 23 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. It also was the fourth pole position of his IndyCar career. In the early stages of Saturday's race, it was evident that Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevy were the ones to beat. On Lap 22, Pagenaud pitted under the green flag, giving the lead to Charlie Kimball, who Pagenaud quickly passed before he regained the lead on Lap 26 to complete the cycle of green-flag stops. On Lap 40, as the leaders pitted under caution, Pagenaud emerged behind James Hinchcliffe as the cars exited pit lane. Meanwhile, Castroneves, who stayed on track during the caution period, took the lead. On the Lap 45 restart, Pagenaud moved from fourth to third by Turn 1 as he passed Hinchcliffe. After a strong final stop by the No. 22 team on Lap 63, Pagenaud was back out in front and he led the rest of the way for his third straight win.
Quote: "The car was fantastic once again. The balance was perfect all race. When we were in the lead, we were cruising, doing what we could to save the tires. But the car was just fantastic to drive. Charlie (Kimball) had a really good pit stop on the first one. I managed to get him on the outside on Turn 7. It was very difficult on cold tires so you could really make some ground on the pit sequence. Thanks to the whole Menards Chevrolet team. Obviously, we had a great last pit stop. Drove like a rally car into pit lane and the guys got me out really fast. What a day. Three races! It's incredible to win three in a row like this and here in Indy for me, it's very special. I lived here for nine years so this place is very special in my heart. We just really want to carry this momentum into the Indy 500 and keep it going."
Next Race: Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil – Sunday, May 29 at 11 am ET on ABC