Scott Dixon in the No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team Chevrolet and Chief strategist Mike Hall were left scratching their heads following the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Race winner Simon Pagenaud after he was found:
Simon Pagenaud’s actions during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach were deemed an infraction per Rule 184.108.40.206. “Lane Usage” of the INDYCAR Penalty Guidelines: Failing to follow designated procedures entering or exiting the pit area, including the proper use of the acceleration and deceleration lanes.
At the time of the incident he was just ahead of Dixon and the drivers during the briefing had been told that if this incident were to happen that automatically a penalty would be handed down, no questions asked however this did not happen in Pagenaud’s case and he took the win.
Despite missing out on victory Dixon claimed his second podium finish in a row following his win in Phoenix last time out and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
It was definitely a pretty fierce battle up front, a bit of lapped traffic, some pit stop sequence, people trying to pit short, go longer, etc, so it was quite exciting for in and out (laps) and when to use your overtakes and things like that. I think on the last one we got caught off guard a little bit before the pit sequence had already been finished, and then to hear when we’re coming down the straight that the 22 was just coming out, we had actually backed off already and started saving fuel. With the gap that we had on Helio, I really didn’t think we had to worry about too much and didn’t get any warning from the pits. Obviously that scenario was a lot closer than we anticipated, and then when we got to Turn 1, it appeared that Simon turned a little early and crossed the line that you’re not meant to cross. But it is what it is, so second place today, and Team Target did a hell of a job, and pit stops were clean, and I think we had really good pace, but personally I think we should have won the race.
Tony ‘TK’ Kanaan qualified for the race in 4th place and came home in sixth in the No.10 NTT Data Chevrolet and speaking following the race, the Brazilian said:
NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing had a really quick car for today’s race. We struggled all weekend in practice to find setups that worked and then really came through in qualifying to get up toward the front for the race. The car was strong and I don’t think we made barely any changes during the race, but we just couldn’t make the passes we needed with no yellows and everyone up front on a similar strategy. I’m not thrilled with a sixth-place finish, especially when I know how strong the car was but we’ll take a top-10 finish and build on what we have for Barber.
Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Chevrolet started the race from 19th place and ended up finishing in 14th place just behind fellow rookie Conor Daly. Speaking following the race, Chilton commented by saying:
It was a really fun, exciting race. It could have gone two ways and it ended up not being too bad. In the start I struggled with constantly getting caught in traffic and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We had a really good strategy all race, especially the last stint when we did a full fuel stint when the others didn’t and ended up struggling a bit at the end. I was able to catch a couple of cars in the last five laps and then get past Rahal at the finish line. It’s not the best result, but considering where we started I don’t think a 14th place finish is all that bad.
Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Tresiba® Chevrolet who started the race from 15th place ended up just outside the top ten in 11th place just behind Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden and just ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz. Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
I feel like the No. 83 Tresiba® Chevrolet recovered really well. Everyone on Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing was disappointed with qualifying yesterday but we rolled the dice on strategy today and we were really hoping for a yellow at some point to make the strategy a little healthier. I can’t say I’m happy with an 11th place finish, but I know we were fast enough to be in the top five and it’s a good recovery after our qualifying yesterday. We’ll carry this momentum into Barber on Friday and Saturday to try to qualify up front and ultimately race up front on Sunday, especially after proving that once we’re racing strong we can stay strong.