After qualifying 16th for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest, engineers for the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car chose to go in a different direction with the car's setup for the Aug. 17 race on the Milwaukee Mile oval.
"We were more aggressive, and it worked out really well. The crew was awesome in the pits, too," said driver Simon Pagenaud, who gained a field-high nine positions. "Seventh isn't a stellar result, but it feels good after starting 16th."
The top-10 finish also allowed Pagenaud to move into third in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings with two races left.
"Coming in to this weekend, I thought Milwaukee was going to be the hardest of the final three races for us," Pagenaud said. "We gained some points on Helio (Castroneves) and Ryan (Hunter-Reay), so I'm really looking forward to the next two races in Sonoma and Fontana."
Teammate Mikhail Aleshin advanced seven positions to finish eighth -- his third top 10 on an oval in his rookie season in the No. 7 SMP Racing car.
"As we went through different stints we made adjustments and the track came to us," he said. "The drivers who were good at the start weren't necessarily the best at the end. I was able to attack on the track in the final two stints, making a lot of different passes. I'm very happy to finish eighth even though there are always areas for improvement."
Reigning series champion Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing entry, also advanced seven spots to finish fourth, while rookie Jack Hawksworth gained seven positions to earn a top 10 in the No. 98 Charter Communications BHA/BBM car.