Simon Pagenaud wins wild Baltimore Grand Prix
Simon Pagenaud drove the #77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda victory in today's action-filled Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT. It was the second career Izod IndyCar Series victory for the Frenchman, and second of 2013 as Pagenaud won race 2 at this year's Detroit round.
It was crazy, exciting, and by all accounts, controversial. You'll be reading about this one for awhile.
The win moved the 29-year-old native of France into third in the standings with three races left.
Power was apologetic after the race.
"I was just looking at Bourdais' back," he said. "I had a good run on him and I was going to go off his inside. Dixon, obviously, had the same run on me. I feel bad. I just didn't even think to look in my mirror. I was just trying to win the race, trying to beat Bourdais. I feel terrible. I'm just so sorry."
Pagenaud credited the numerous cautions with helping him relax and plot his next move.
"Obviously it was a rough day for everyone, with lots of contact," Pagenaud said. "Everybody is getting pretty excited as the season is coming to an end."
But his bid to become the event’s first two-time winner ended shortly after his No. 1 car stopped in the 43rd lap on the course in Turn 10.
“We just had an electronic issue that made the car stall on the start,” the 32-year-old Dallas native said. “And then we were ultimately sidelined because of a power outage in the car. The electronics completely failed.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "The car was fantastic, as you can see on the first stint. I struggled there for a bit, but we picked up in the middle section there. We got very lucky on the restarts; we didn't get collected. I pushed hard on the last restart against Marco (Andretti) and TK (Tony Kanaan). Awesome job for the HP team. They've been awesome this weekend and I guess it's good for the championship."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "Thanks to everyone as Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. They give me every opportunity to do this. I wouldn't be an IndyCar driver without them. I'm so thankful for all the hard work they put in. I'm happy to give them a second-place. I really wanted to give Simon (Pagenaud) a run for his money there. I think we had the pace for him, we just had no brakes left."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "(On incident with Pagenaud): I will let people judge it. I have my own opinion. We're friends but there are no friends on the track. I learned that the hard way. (On moving up to the front): We've had a fast car. We had a fast car from Practice 3 until the race. That car got beat up pretty good so by the end it was pretty ragged."
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "It was a strange race but I'm really pleased that we managed to hang on and get fourth place with the Boy Scouts of America car because here in Baltimore we have a big following," said Wilson. "So I'm pleased for them and for Honda to win as well. It's a tough track and I appreciate all the fans that come out. The support we've had over the last few days has been great. It was a tough race. I lost the rear brakes completely from about Lap 4. The pedal was going to the floor so I was just trying to hang on."
LUCA FILIPPI (No. 98 Barracuda Racing Honda): "It's a shame because the Barracuda Racing car was very fast during the weekend and especially in the race. I felt that I was following the guys at the top and I actually think I was faster. After the first problem, I lost a few spots but then at the end, I felt the car stop. I lost the drive. So we have to look at the data. It's unfortunate because the Barracuda Racing team gave me a really fast car. It could've been a great race for us. I'm sure about it."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 blu eCigs Honda): "The blu eCigs car was awesome today; I don't have any complaints there. We should have won that race; that was my race but everything kept going wrong for us. The strategy was on par really until those yellows. I don't understand why they were so long but they were and it took us right out of it but at the end we started to claw our way back. I got a really good restart and I got by Kanaan. I don't even know how far back he was but I looked in Turn 2 and couldn't even see him. The next thing I knew, I was trying to line those guys up for the exit and he just drove absolutely square into the side of me. I really don't get that and I'm definitely going to have some words with him."
JAMES JAKES (No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda): "About half of a lap after our pit stop our gearbox control unit broke and it was game over. Only five laps in. It's frustrating obviously."
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "Unfortunately, I made a dumb mistake early on when I slid into the turn five tire barrier. That put us a lap down. We had a good pace after that but we could not get the lap back. We put on a new front wing that helped. But that mistake hurt us throughout the race. We stayed out a long time on some older Red Firestones at the end and I was just holding on. I couldn't fight (E.J.) Viso for the position due to the tires being down to the cords. It was really crazy out there today. People were just taking every chance that they could. We kind of knew there could be carnage on those restarts and that's what happened. Overall, we'll take the points and work towards the final three races."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Hydroxycut KVRT-SH Racing Chevrolet): "It was a very physical and bizarre race. All the crashes on the restarts, all the cars that were involved just made the whole race difficult. I drove the whole first stint with a damaged front wing and still got up to sixth. I was hanging on the whole time and trying to fight through it. We pitted a bit out of sequence and got to the front avoiding all the carnage. After the last restart the car started getting away from me. It got worse and worse and finally I hit the wall in Turn 12."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): "I believe in miracles, but that's probably what it's going to take now (to clinch the championship). Hard work and fight hard probably isn't going to do it from here. I'm just so disappointed; we had an anti-stall mechanism kick in and it worked as it wasn't supposed to, and I was supposed to be able to pull the clutch and get going with it. Unfortunately, I had to get it back to neutral, went back to the back of the pack, we were passing some cars, had a great car, and then out of nowhere the car just died - electronics cut out on it, battery voltage looked good and then all of a sudden it just fell through the bottom. It's heartbreaking especially when you see Helio Castroneves stuck in Turn 1 and the fact that we're sitting in here on the other side of the track. Thanks to all the fans for their support and thank you to our great partners at DHL, Sun Drop, Chevrolet, Circle K for sticking behind us. We had a great season, and there is still more to go and we can still win out here."
E.J. VISO (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet): "We were definitely a victim of an incident that had nothing to do with us. The best word I can use to describe this race is botchery. It wasn't about who was fast or who had the right strategy, it was simply about who didn't have a problem. We definitely had a good car that would have taken us to the podium as it was looking until we had that issue in Turn 1 where I got punted from the back and I ended up hitting (Oriol) Servia from behind. I ended up damaging my car and had to come back in for another front wing. Anyways, it was a tough weekend from the beginning, but at some point in the race, we really set our hopes pretty high."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 25 Dr Pepper Chevrolet): "We'll just do what we can. We missed the balance, but my Dr Pepper guys did an awesome job of getting me in a good position, but I just couldn't hold it without the C.O.P (center of pressure because the front wing was damaged). I was dreading it every lap. I was so afraid I was going to get run into from the back, so I'm glad that nobody just drilled me because I could not drive it into any of the corners, was just saving myself. We had two really bad stints so to end up 10th, but it's all we could ask for with what we dealt with today."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 GoDaddy Chevrolet): "It was just wrong place, wrong time. I mean, we stopped dead on-track twice, we restarted twice and still ended up with a seventh-place finish. First of all, it's a testament to the car, the work that the GoDaddy guys did and playing the strategy we had due to the circumstances. But, this isn't what you want to see - this many cautions for the fans, and this many wrecked race cars. We'll see, we'll obviously take it. It's a lot of points that race; it didn't look like we were going to be anywhere near the top 10, so we'll just keep fighting. That's the spirit of this team; the DNA of this team is to never give up. It's all in the recovery, and I think we all did a good job recovering today."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet): "I'm definitely really happy with P5. It was kind of a crazy race. I don't think we had the fastest car out there, but we had a pretty good call on the pits when we got stuck in one of the wrecks. After that we were able to move forward and had some pretty good restarts. The Nuclear Clean Air Energy car was really good at the end, so I'm pretty happy with it for sure. Not a bad way to celebrate my birthday.
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "Man, that's a very tough result today for the Verizon team. I feel really bad. We had a good start to the race in the Verizon car but then I made a mistake on the first pit stop and then the accident on the restart that really ended up ruining two good days. I thought I had a really good run on Bourdais and I was going to the inside to get around him and I thought I hit a bump or just lost it on cold tires. I really had no idea that (Scott) Dixon was there. I actually didn't even know until I got back to the pits and they told me. I feel terrible for him and his team. All I can do is tell them how sorry I am and move on to Houston."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): "Wow, what a crazy race. Well, first off I have to say sorry to (right front tire changer) Doug (Snyder). I'm glad he seems to be alright. It was very slippery in the pits and I just slid in - I'm not really sure what happened. I want to thank PPG and Team Penske for never giving up. I am glad we were able to finish in the top 10 and keep our lead in the championship. Now, we'll turn our attention to Houston. That will be a big race for us and our sponsors and a lot of points on the line with the doubleheader."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Cessna Honda): "We had an engine change this morning. But, you have to say thanks to Honda because they keep pushing and they keep pushing hard to try and find those performance advantages, but it just went wrong this morning. This afternoon, after about six laps, the brake pedal went to the floor both in Turn 1 and Turn 12. Then we came in and bled the brakes. It was OK until we got them hot again and then it did exactly the same thing. So, there's obviously a problem because I generally don't use the brakes that often."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "The No. 15 (Graham Rahal) should have received a penalty (for spinning us) and the No. 4 (Oriol Servia) car passed us on a yellow. So that restart near the end was a complete botch. On the restart I had an overtake advantage on (Will) Power, it must have been in fourth-gear, so they can't complain about wheel spin. Then I got beside him and he ran me straight into the wall. Then, they wouldn't bring the car back."
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "I think that was harder work than the Indianapolis 500. A lot of credit to the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen team, we just kept digging deep. We would get caught up in other incidents, then get clear, and have to fight our way back. And, they did. They just kept giving me the right information and giving me the right calls on pit stops. When it came down to it, we had the speed and had the control. We'll figure out how to get it better for next year because we had the car, there's just a couple other things we have to clean-up before we're at the podium but overall, a good battling day for the No. 83 team."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "We had a promising warm-up this morning after changing the car overnight --very positive and we were really looking forward to the race. Made a good start and everything was under control but only a few laps into the race I had a sudden loss of power and it couldn't be fixed so we had to retire. The ABC boys worked well putting everything together for the race so it's really disappointing to end like this... a big disappointment for everyone." He move into third in the standings with three races left.
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