Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud’s stock has risen with the outfit following his fantastic start to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. The Frenchman started round 1, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg from pole position as team mate and pole sitter Will Power was ruled out of the race however he was unable to convert that position into a win but instead joined team mate Juan Pablo Montoya on the podium finishing second behind the Colombian.
At the second race, the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix under lights, Pagenaud once again finished on the podium in second place behind winner and reigning series champion Scott Dixon with his Penske team mate Will Power finishing the race in third place.
At the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Pagenaud in the No.22 PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet started the race from third place and went on to take his first victory for Roger Penske finishing the race just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and his Penske team mate Helio Castroneves.
Last time out at the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama, Pagenaud started the race from pole position and was joined on the front row by team mate Will Power however in the race despite dominating the early stages Pagenaud faced stiff competition from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 PennGrade Motor Oil Honda who took the lead of the race in the closing laps however Pagenaud was able to close the gap and end take his second victory in a row.
The Frenchman heads to the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 with a 48 point lead in the championship from Scott Dixon.
Pagenaud will be hoping that he can give Roger Penske, who will drive the Pace Car at the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil a victory to remember as if he or any of Penske’s other drivers, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya or Helio Castroneves take victory not only would it be Penske’s second Indianapolis 500 victory in a row but it would also make history as Penske would win the 100th running of the race in his 50th year of competition.