Simon Pagenaud has emerged as Team Penske’s lead driver following the opening two races of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Despite the fact that team mate Juan Pablo Montoya took victory at the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg last month, Pagenaud leads the championship by virtue of the fact that he has scored to second place finishes in the No.22 Team Penske Chevrolet.

Pagenaud is leading the championship for the first time in his Verizon IndyCar Series career and goes to Long Beach four points ahead of reigning series champion Scott Dixon who took victory last time out in Phoenix. Speaking ahead of the race this weekend Pagenuad commented by saying:

We’ve had a great start to the season, After back-to-back second-place finishes, it’s an honor to be leading the points in the Verizon IndyCar Series for Team Penske. But, it’s obviously very early in the season and we are still very hungry for our first win.

The Frenchman who was joined on the Phoenix podium by team mate Will Power who finished in third place is hoping that following back to back second places he can go one step further and take his first victory:

It would be really cool to get our first victory of the year here, Long Beach is always a tough race and it’s very important to qualify well so you can race up front. We are excited to have the No. 22 Team Penske car racing in the PPG colors this weekend. We had some really strong finishes last season in the PPG Chevy, including a couple of podium results, so we’ll try to keep the streak going at Long Beach.

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