Simon Pagenaud and Team Penske Dominate 2019 Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS -RIS- (May 26, 2019) Despite strong challenges today from 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi and front row starter Ed Carpenter, Simon Pagenaud gave Team Penske's its eighteenth Indianapolis 500 victory today in the 103rd running of the 500-mile classic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Leading from pole position, the French Flash led a dominating 112 of 200 laps under alternately overcast and sunny skies. Pagenaud faced competition from Penske teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden, as well as crowd favorite Ed Carpenter.
The victory gave long-time sponsor and former team owner John Menard his first Indy car victory here. His son, Paul Menard won NASCAR's Brickyard 400 here back in 2011.
Pagenaud's Indy victory couples with his victory two weeks ago in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
This was also a victory for Chevrolet, which has dedicated itself to win the Memorial Day classic.
Alexander Rossi gave Andretti Autosport and Honda their best finish of second. Rossi, a rookie winner here at Indy, has finished first, seventh, fourth, and second in his four Indy starts.
2017 Indy winner Takuma Sato rounded out today's Top Three.
There were four caution periods, the most serious of which came on Lap 178 as Sebastien Bourdais' #7 Sealmaster Honda closed the door on a hard-charging Graham Rahal and his #17 United Rentals Honda, resulting in a multiple car accident that brought out the red flag in order to clean up the debris.
Stay tuned for Bash Beard's race story.
The next stop on the NTT Data IndyCar Series circuit is next weekend at Detroit for the IndyCar double-header.
Tom has been a contributor to RIS since 1992, and has covered IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR, Grand-Am, ALMS and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.