Pagenaud survives incident-packed Houston race

Speedcafe.com

Monday 30th June, 2014 - 8:32am

Share:

Simon Pagenaud wins second leg of the Houston double-header

Simon Pagenaud wins second leg of the Houston double-header

Frenchman Simon Pagenaud claimed his fourth career win in the final leg of the Houston IndyCar double-header.

Pagenaud led home a career best one-two for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with rookie Mikhail Aleshin claiming second ahead of Jack Hawksworth.

After qualifying 18th, championship leader Will Power was running third late in the race before encountering a problem with two laps remaining, limping across the line in 11th.

Before mid-race Power had stayed on strategy and shot up the order to be third behind his team-mate Helio Castroneves and Pagenaud.

Both Castroneves and Pagenaud had command early in the race with the Brazilian on track to make more inroads into Power’s points lead.

But the race turned sour for Castroneves who was eliminated after 42 of the 90 laps in a race littered with incidents.

Race 1 podium winner Carlos Munoz clouted the wall mid-race causing terminal damage to his front right bringing out the yellow.

On the restart Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH Racing) dived underneath Power to claim third in turn six with Pagenaud claiming the lead from Castroneves soon after.

Then polesitter Castroneves crashed out when he moved across with Bourdais collecting the back of the Shell-liveried car with the Frenchman seemingly committed to his line.

“There was not much I could do about it. I couldn’t get my hand off the steering wheel,” a dejected Castroneves said, nursing an injured hand in the crash.

“I had no idea that he (Bourdais) was there,” Castroneves said.

“When I’m attacking I can’t have eyes in the back of my head. I am upset because we had a great car and there were 40 laps to go and I wasn’t panicking to get the lead back.”

On the restart Juan Pablo Montoya demoted his team-mate Power to fourth as the Colombian continued a concerted charge.

Power began sliding back through the field, hampered by a balance issue in his Penske Chevrolet.

Bourdais continued to soldier on with a damaged front wing from his altercation with Castroneves, slipping back several positions.

A full course caution for Josef Newgarden, who was stopped with a right wheel problem at turn 4, saw the final round of pit stops for many of the leading contenders.

Both Power and Marco Andretti returned to the track, gaining positions on Montoya.

With 15 laps to go Takuma Sato crunched the wall bringing out another full course caution as Pagenaud continued to lead from Aleshin.

Power struck a problem in the closing laps seeing what would have been a great escape snuffed out when he limped across the line just outside the top 10 with a broken front suspension, scant reward for his charging efforts.

Ryan Hunter-Reay salvaged a strong sixth position, avoiding many of the incidents to gain some crucial ground on Power in the points race.

In an at times titanic battle with Hawksworth and Montoya, Charlie Kimball finished fourth three spots ahead of the Penske driver  in seventh who finished one place ahead of Ganassi driver Ryan Briscoe.

Following his maiden IndyCar triumph, Carlos Huertas was eliminated in the early going.

See below for Race 2 of the Houston double-header

1

Simon Pagenaud

Dallara/Honda

90

1:51:43.06

2

Mikhail Aleshin

Dallara/Honda

90

+7.2622

3

Jack Hawksworth

Dallara/Honda

90

17.0208

4

Charlie Kimball

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

18.5927

5

Sébastien Bourdais

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

20.2366

6

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Dallara/Honda

90

25.3920

7

Juan Pablo Montoya

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

30.2312

8

Ryan Briscoe

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

30.5917

9

Marco Andretti

Dallara/Honda

90

31.3259

10

Tony Kanaan

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

50.3098

11

Will Power

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

1:12.7735

12

Justin Wilson

Dallara/Honda

89

1 Lap

13

Mike Conway

Dallara/Chevrolet

89

1 Lap

14

James Hinchcliffe

Dallara/Honda

89

1 Lap

15

Luca Filippi

Dallara/Honda

88

2 Laps

16

Graham Rahal

Dallara/Honda

87

3 Laps

17

Sebastian Saavedra

Dallara/Chevrolet

84

6 Laps

18

Scott Dixon

Dallara/Chevrolet

78

12 Laps

19

Takuma Sato

Dallara/Honda

74

Contact

20

Josef Newgarden

Dallara/Honda

61

Mechanical

21

Hélio Castroneves

Dallara/Chevrolet

48

Contact

22

Carlos Muñoz

Dallara/Honda

40

Contact

23

Carlos Huertas

Dallara/Honda

2

Spun off

See below full points

1

Will Power

405

2

Hélio Castroneves

366

3

Ryan Hunter-Reay

364

4

Simon Pagenaud

346

5

Juan Pablo Montoya

289

6

Marco Andretti

281

7

Carlos Muñoz

270

8

Sébastien Bourdais

242

9

Scott Dixon

237

10

James Hinchcliffe

230

11

Tony Kanaan

226

12

Justin Wilson

221

13

Ryan Briscoe

221

14

Jack Hawksworth

219

15

Charlie Kimball

213

16

Mikhail Aleshin

211

17

Carlos Huertas

204

18

Graham Rahal

180

19

Takuma Sato

171

20

Josef Newgarden

171

21

Sebastian Saavedra

166

22

Mike Conway

152

23

Ed Carpenter

104

24

Oriol Servià

88

25

Kurt Busch

80

26

J.R. Hildebrand

66

27

Sage Karam

57

28

James Davison

34

29

Jacques Villeneuve

29

30

Alex Tagliani

28

31

Luca Filippi

24

32

Townsend Bell

22

33

Pippa Mann

21

34

Martin Plowman

18

35

Buddy Lazier

11

36

Franck Montagny

8

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

Read the Speedcafe.com promise
Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter, the best way to get your news first, fast, and free!