LONG POND, PA – Simon Pagenaud had a great race going in Sunday’s ABC Supply 500. He started third but quickly made a bold maneuver on the opening lap to take the lead by time we got out of Turn 1 at the Pocono Raceway.
Unfortunately a bad crash happened behind which brought out a 45-minute and 24-second red flag as a result. Luckily, everyone was able to walk away from the incident which even saw Felix Rosenqvist transported to a local hospital for further evaluation which later saw him released from there too.
Meanwhile, Pagenaud held onto the lead until he hit pit road on Lap 37. He’d take it back on Lap 41 after the first pit sequence ended. From that point forward, it was a battle between himself and his Team Penske teammate Will Power for the win. Unfortunately, the race was shortened as 128 of 200 laps were completed which saw Pagenaud finish third in his No. 22 Chevrolet.
“Overall it’s a pretty good points day for us on the 22 car this weekend,” Pagenaud said. “Obviously, yes, I did think we could have done a little better. At least we would have tried. I think we had the car to do so.
“But Will found a way to the front. As he always does here, was definitely the best of the team at the end. Who knows what would have happened, but I think we could have challenged at least.
“At the end of the day it’s not a bad day. We’ll take it. Go to the next one, keep pushing.
It was his second podium in three tries on superspeedways this year and fourth of the season. Pagenaud, won the Indy 500 back on May 26 and was sixth on June 8 at Texas. Now, he leaves the Tricky Triangle with his best career finish on the 2.5-mile track and his fourth straight top six result on the year.
With Alexander Rossi being involved in that first lap crash and Josef Newgarden finishing fifth, Pagenaud cut seven points from his deficit as he went from 47 points behind the points lead to 40 with three races remaining in the season.
“Yeah, personally I’m pretty excited that we gained points on Josef for a few races now,” Pagenaud continued. “It’s a championship, the best may win over the year. Obviously he’s my teammate. I can only think of good things for him. But I also want to win, so does Scott, so does Rossi.
“I want to win, he’s right. We all want to win. It’s good to be in it. I think there’s three races to go, all the chances in the world for our team. We’re going to keep pushing. That’s what we’ve been doing. Just keep pushing, doing what we do, try to win races. That’s going to be the name of the game till the end. I love it.”