Simon Pagenaud Leads Team Chevy Contingent with Podium Finish

Juan Pablo Montoya Holds Points Lead with Two Races Remaining in Verizon IndyCar Series

LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 2, 2015) – Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet, led the Team Chevy contingent with a third-place finish in the Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It was the second podium finish of the season for the first-year Team Penske driver.

“We had a rough start to the weekend and Team Chevy really took care of us just before qualifying,” said Pagenaud.  “So it’s nice to get an uplifting emotional feeling I should say.”

Chevrolet Aero Kit with integrated V6 2.2 liter power claimed three of the top-five finishing positions in the 90-lap race around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course.  Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, finished fourth to pull closer in the point standings and tighten the battle with two races left in the season. Dixon is third in points, 34 markers behind the leader.

Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Chevrolet, finished fifth.

Championship points leader Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Chevrolet, had to settle for an 11th place finish as the team’s race strategy was altered by ill-timed caution periods.  Montoya’s lead in the standings dropped to nine points as his closest championship rival Graham Rahal (Honda) won the race.

Justin Wilson (Honda) finished second to complete the top-five finishers.

Next on the schedule for Team Chevy in the Verizon IndyCar Series is the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania on Sunday, August 23, 2015.


THE MODERATOR:  Joined also by Simon Pagenaud.

Interesting week for you and Team Penske in general.  What were your impressions of the race?

SIMON PAGENAUD:  It’s been a pretty rough weekend for us.  I just want to take my hat off to my guys and Team Chevy.  We had a little issue on Friday and Saturday morning.  They fixed it.  Obviously they put a new engine in, which worked out really well.  We were right back on pace this morning.

You know, it’s incredible.  I mean, we had the worst qualifying of the year, but we actually have a podium at the end.  It’s funny how it works.

We qualified well all season long, couldn’t really finish it.  This time we did.  Really good strategy from the team.  A little bit of luck doesn’t hurt.  We haven’t had much this year.

At the back of my mind, it’s a bit of a disappointing day for the team in general.  Obviously we want one Penske car to win the championship.  We all have that in the back of our mind.  But Graham was incredible today.

  1. (No microphone.)

SIMON PAGENAUD:  I was on pit lane when the yellow came out already.  So that was a planned pit stop.  Then I was like, Oh, hey.  A little bit of luck, yes.  So I took it, you know.

  1. (No microphone.)

SIMON PAGENAUD:  No.  I think it’s actually great for the sport.  It’s actually fantastic for the sport.  I’d rather see a Penske car winning, to be honest.  But this is fantastic.  This is what we want.  This is what the fans want.  We want competition.

When you see races like today, I think it’s exciting.  It’s an entertainment.  So pretty good day.

  1. (No microphone.)

SIMON PAGENAUD:  To run in traffic?  Yeah, all we’re trying to do, what we tried to do in our strategy, is just get out of traffic.  There’s nothing you can do when you’re behind someone.  There’s no front.  All of a sudden the rear snaps.

So even when I was behind Justin at the end, I had a little bit more pace, when I was far away from Justin, as soon as I would get a little closer, I couldn’t handle the car anymore.

You’re just stuck there in that bubble and you can’t really get to the guy.  It’s certainly a lot more difficult than it used to be.

  1. (No microphone.)

SIMON PAGENAUD:  Good question.  I think, you know, obviously we can bounce back.  We’ve been really strong.  Our strength at Team Penske is the superspeedways.  Going into Pocono, obviously Montoya won last year.  That should be a pretty similar setup to Indy.  We feel pretty confident going into Pocono that our cars should be hopefully in domination mode again so we can have a shot at it.  See if we can place all four cars up there.

At this point all we can do is hope we’re competitive enough to win races so he has enough points going into Sonoma.

THE MODERATOR:  Gentlemen, thank you very much.


Courtesy of ASAP and Verizon IndyCar Series

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