Team Penske’s Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Simon Pagenaud driving the No.22 PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet added to his two second place finishes so far this season by taking his first victory for Roger Penske at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to lead defending series champion Scott Dixon by 14 points heading to the next race at Barber Motorsports Park next weekend.
Speaking following the race, Pagenaud commented by saying:
It is pretty cool. I tell you this is my favorite street course, like I said before the event. So winning here, especially in INDYCAR with the level of competition so high, it is amazing. That PPG car is good luck on me. Every time I have been in that car I have been on the podium. It’s awesome, glad to represent those guys and Chevrolet. They gave me a hell of a piece of equipment. And it’s my first win with Roger, so ‘check.
Having taken the P1 Award on Saturday and led Sunday’s race for 45 laps, Helio Castroneves driving the No.3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet was a little disappointed as he ended the race in third place behind Scott Dixon and Pagenaud. Speaking following the race, Castroneves commented by saying:
“It was actually fine as long as we keep the rhythm and as long as we keep one rhythm. It’s only good in the beginning we were leading a lot of laps. A little bit of strategy. And we caught traffic and the guy decided to come in at the same time and that basically killed us and we ended up losing two spots. At the end of the day, congrats to Simon, it is the first win for him and Team Penske. At least I’m glad that one of the Team Penske guys ended up getting this victory and let’s go for the next one.
Juan Pablo Montoya in the No.2 Verizon Chevrolet had a quiet race following his win in the season opener in St Pete and a dramatic race in Phoenix. The Colombian started the race from fifth place and by the end of the race he had moved up one spot to fourth.
Speaking following the race, Montoya commented by saying:
It was actually pretty easy physically and it was not a problem at all. Track position was everything. We shorted our first run and I don’t understand their mentality there but I think we just made a mistake. I saved a ton of gas and then we short pitted and I still didn’t beat anyone. We didn’t gain anything and the second one we went all the way, as far as I could go and I think it was much better. We had one of the faster cars but track position is everything. I caught Helio (Castroneves) from like two seconds out, in like two laps and got there and there was nowhere to pass. It was tough. Our Verizon Chevy was good all day, so it’s a good points day.
Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet had a busy race. The Australian started the race from sixth place on the grid and had his mirrors full of the No.5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda of James Hinchcliffe, a battle that Power won managing to hold off the mayor of Hinchtown to finish the race in seventh place. Speaking following the race, Power stated:
We had that unfortunate pit stop. Sometimes it takes longer. I can’t complain. My Verizon Chevrolet crew is phenomenal. We qualified where we qualified and were able to get another top-10 finish. Congratulations to Simon (Pagenaud) and the No. 22 team. That’s a great win for him and Team Penske.