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Pagenaud wins wild Baltimore IndyCar race (VIDEO)

Sep 1, 2013, 5:16 PM EDT

Simon Pagenaud has won the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT, where the 75-lap IZOD IndyCar Series race featured a clean first half and a second dominated by cautions and carnage.

Pagenaud won a similarly wild race in Detroit race 2, with a first half that was peppered with six cautions.  He should advance in the championship as well, as he entered the race fifth in points and three of those ahead of him finished poorly (Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti)

“Wild day wasn’t it,” Pagenaud told NBCSN in victory lane. “The car was fantastic, we struggled a bit with pickup. We didn’t get collected though, and I guess that’s good for the championship.”

The mayhem began on a restart at Lap 48, when Graham Rahal and Scott Dixon made contact while battling for second in Turn 1. Dixon was sent spinning while the field behind him created a jam-up at the right-hander.

With no action taken by INDYCAR on the matter, the field lined up for the next restart – which promptly ended in more disaster.

In an apparent attempt to pass Sebastien Bourdais on the inside down the front stretch, Will Power moved into Dixon and sent the championship contender into the inside wall.

“Rahal takes me out, doesn’t seem like there’s any penalty, and then the 12 [Power] just slams us into the wall,” a frustrated Dixon told NBCSN.

“Man, it’s been a rough couple of weeks…I don’t know what [Power] was thinking. I was clearly alongside and he went straight into me.”

Upon seeing a replay of the incident after the race, Power quickly turned somber.

“I was just looking at Bourdais’ back,” Power told NBCSN. “I got a good run on him, I was gonna get on his inside and Dixon obviously had the same run on me.

“I just feel bad about it. Had I looked in my mirror – I don’t know, I just didn’t even think to look in my mirror…I just feel bad for him. I know he’s in the championship hunt. Man, it was just a bad thing to have happen.”

Another restart with 19 to go ended with another track blockage in Turn 1, but shortly after the next restart at Lap 66, Pagenaud made it past an ailing Marco Andretti at Turn 1 (he had a damaged front wing), and Andretti fell through the order. Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais had contact at Turn 8, and Bourdais was affected.

“I passed TK on that (first) restart and then Marco on the second one, and then I pushed as hard as I could with a broken wing, but it actually made the car pretty good,” said Pagenaud.

In second was Josef Newgarden, with an overdue first career podium finish in the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing No. 67 Honda. Sebastien Bourdais finished third for his third podium of the year in the No. 7 TrueCar/McAfee/Bing Chevrolet for Dragon Racing.

Justin Wilson and Simona de Silvestro rounded out the top five, de Silvestro’s first top-five since St. Petersburg 2011 when she finished fourth. De Silvestro turns 25 today in her best finish of the season.

There will be much more to follow after a crazy race.

  1. snoopyo - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Who didn’t make contact with someone today that was a crazy race and once again we have an incident between Power and Dixon that impacts the championship again.I had a feeling at some point the Ganassi and Penske cars would get into it and I bet they will get into another incident or two in Houston. I wish it would have been Dario not Dixon who got the shaft. I feel bad for Dixon first getting spun around by Rahal then the Power incident the guy has had some bad bad luck not just in the last few races but his whole career and if he had a little more luck he probably would have about 4 or 5 titles. Congrats to Simon on the win he is now third in points, loved watching him go at it with Marco and SeaBass Marco ran well again but he just can’t find that break to get himself into victory lane.. Josef was great this weekend he was fast in practice qualifying and ran a great race congrats to him and Sarah. SeaBass had his best performance I think all year he led a lot of laps got spun around and the incident with Simon was interesting. Another great job by Justin Wilson he is now 6th in points and has quietly had a great season with another strong race today. Another nice result for Simona getting her first top 5 of the year.

    • lesovuls - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      That was crazy race,but what you think about Powers comment on double wide restarts? Happy birthday to Simona. Back to restarts, I’m mean if they could start the races that way.

      • muddytrane - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        Les I wished Simona a happy birthday before the race and told her it was going to be her lucky day. Made sure I went back over to her after the race and told her “told you so” and she gave me a big smile and a wink with a thumbs up. She is such a class act!

      • snoopyo - Sep 2, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        I agree with you guys about Simona she is a great gal met her a few years ago she was a bit shy at first but then asked her about her golf game and that got her talking and she gave me an autograph. It was cool to meet her but it still wasn’t as cool as my experience meeting Uncle Bobby at Michigan. Simona has driven a lot better in the last few races especially at Sonoma and coming from the back to finish in the top 10 and I think she has gained like 25 positions in the last 2 races which reminds me of Servia a couple years ago,she had a rough go on the short ovals but ran well at Texas and Pocono probably could have had a top 10 at Texas if she didn’t get the penalty. She might not have had the season some expected from her but she has ran well and held her own against a very deep and competitive field. This isn’t the field PSP ran against.

    • muddytrane - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Snoopy, you and me both wished it had been Dario instead of Scott. Moer and more each day I am starting to really lose respect for Dario each time he opens his mouth to complain about how he or, God forbid, somebody else was wronged. Saw you went to Mid Ohio in another post and I hope you had a great time. Used to go there every year and was always a blast, except for the heat was always unbearable! You need to plan a trip for Baltimore and experience the festival of a street race.

      • snoopyo - Sep 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        MUDDY when Dario was complaining at Sonoma about how Power was driving him I was like cry me a freaking river Dario. Dario is good with the fans and has a lot of respect for the legends of the sport, he is a darn good driver but he is such a baby anymore and he has driven so many people dirty and for him to call another driver dirty is hypocrisy. MUDDY and Les at Mid Ohio I didn’t see TG or Barnes granted I was no where near the pits so I didn’t get to tell them how I feel.

  2. 1994i500pushrodpower - Sep 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I’m no conspiracy theorist. But after watching the contact between Power and Dixon several times, I don’t believe that the contact was accidental. If you look at Power’s supposed pass attempt on Bourdais and imagine that Dixon was not there, it is reasonable to conclude that there is no way that Power would take a line like that to make a pass. We are talking Will Power here. In my opinion one of the masters of making passes that are calculated intelligently. Why would he go that far to the right of Bourdais and then loose momentum? And then after he hit the wall, why wouldn’t he be concerned with looking in his mirror to see if another car was going to rear-end him? If he instinctively looked in his mirrors after getting hit, It is not reasonable to believe that he would have not seen a very red car (Dixon) coming down the wall sideways behind him. I think that this is a case of pre race team orders that were covered with post accident radio acting. Power-” I just lost it for some reason”. Cindric – “You accidentally hit Dixon. Power – “I had no idea that there was a car over near …. Oops. My bad”. Come on, we’re talking Will Power here …… Not some inexperienced rookie. This was about bring the championship home to Penske.

    • indycarseries500 - Sep 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I don’t think the contact was on purpose, Will was throwing a block knowing he’d have the “I had a run on Bourdais” defense. Not as innocent as he claims to be nor as malicious as Dixon claims him to be.

    • muddytrane - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      You’re not a conspiracy theorist but……………. Come on 1994i500PRP, Roger Penske doesn’t run his team or play that kind of game to win championships. He is especially not going to tell his driver not in contention to take out another car, especially a championship contending car and Ganassi’s to boot, to win himself. Roger respects Chip too much as a longtime competitor to do something like that. Will made a mistake (which Scott has done also) and admitted to it. There is nothing to see here, especially a conspiracy!

  3. muddytrane - Sep 2, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Another great IndyCar race! Congrats to Simon on his win and drive to the front along with fantastic runs by Josef, Bourdais, Wilson and especially Simona with her top 5. I’ve gone to all three races in Baltimore and hope they will continue as Michael Andretti did another bang up job. This has quickly become the Long Beach GP of the East Coast and should become a mainstay of the IndyCar schedule. I did feel bad for Dixon’s bad luck but Will Power is not a driver that makes mistakes and then doesn’t bone up on them and admit his fault like say Dario and RHR do (it’s always some one else’s fault in their eyes!) Will made the mistake and then honestly said he felt horrible as he and Scott respect each other and are friends off the track. Speaking of bad luck, Marco should just attach a black cloud over his car for the remaining races. For all the hard work he did this offseason it just is starting to fall apart here at the end. This has been an incredible season for IndyCar and the remaining races are going to take the championship down to the wire, as usual. Helio did what he needed to keep the lead but Houston will be the wild card for the championship. Can’t wait!

  4. snoopyo - Sep 2, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Hey MUDDY since you were there what is that track like it looked rough and demanding which I like and were you by the chicane where the cars seemed to be getting off the ground, I was amazed at how much off the ground these cars were getting in that area and how the drivers are able to control it which impressed me. Oh and did you see TG or Barnes at all to tell them how you feel.

    • muddytrane - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      Yeah Snoopy the city streets in Baltimore that they use and are pretty bumpy are the concrete ones. They actually repaved some of the asphalt streets the first year to make them smooth but the big problem, like they had in the streets of San Jose when Champ Car ran there is the train/trolly tracks. Yes the cars were getting airbourne in that chicane but what I was told is that they can’t pave over the tracks and then tear it back up after the race due to possibly damaging the tracks. Plus it would be kinda hard to get that patch not only smooth enough but not a hump and a launch pad. They were actually talking after the race in the paddock right after the race on what to do next year. I for one wish that they would at least let the cars bypass the chicane for the start and all restarts so that the whole field gets a fair start. I thought it was a poor decision to only have the first few rows lined up double file for the start/restarts and taking off while the rest of the field was still going single file through the chicane.

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