Desert Diamond Phoenix Grand Prix
Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix
Phoenix Raceway - Avondale, AZ
Phoenix International Raceway - Phoenix, Arizona
EVENT DETAILS
Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix
29Apr
Race Complete
NBCSNRogers Sportsnet 360
Sirius
Phoenix International Raceway
About the track

Phoenix Raceway is a one-mile, low-banked tri-oval race track located in Avondale, Arizona opened in 1964 with a currently-estimated grandstand seating capacity of around 67,000. Lights were installed around the track in 2004. One of the signature features of the is the "dogleg" at the exit of Turn 2, to which in 2019 will see the start-finish line moved to the "dogleg". A.J. Foyt won the track's first oval race, a 100-mile USAC event at an average speed of 107.536 mph.

Race Review

AVONDALE, Arizona – It took 105 Indy car races, but Simon Pagenaud claimed his first oval win in the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, beating Team Penske teammate Will Power to the checkered flag by 9.1028 seconds.

Pagenaud, in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, took the lead for good on the 137th of 250 laps on the 1.022-mile oval, but he was edgy as the laps clicked down at the end.

“Those were the longest 50 laps of my life,” said Pagenaud, who also moved to the top of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings. “I have a button on my wheel that tells me how many laps were left. I kept pressing it. It was stressful.

“The car was phenomenal. It was an incredible day for the Menards Chevrolet. It’s been a fun day. This is incredible. This is my best win. You need to be so strategic to win on an oval and today was the perfect day. I couldn’t be any happier.”

Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand – in his return race after missing last week’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a broken left hand – rounded out the podium with a third-place finish in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet. It was Hildebrand’s best finish since he placed second in the memorable 2011 Indianapolis 500.

Coming off his 49th career Indy car pole, Helio Castroneves (No. 1 REV Team Penske Chevrolet) led the field to the green flag, but while the Brazilian got off to a clean start, in the scrum behind him had a far different story.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7 SMP Racing Honda) spun in Turn 1 on the opening lap, collecting four cars with him. Max Chilton (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Honda), Graham Rahal (No. 15 United Rentals Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda), Sebastien Bourdais (No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ Dale Coyne Racing Honda) and Marco Andretti (No. 27 Oberto Beef Jerky Andretti Autosport Honda) sustained race-ending damage in the incident.

That was the only caution until Takuma Sato grazed the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4 on Lap 138. It benefited Pagenaud, who had built a full lap’s lead by staying out while the rest of the field stopped for fuel and tires before the yellow. Pagenaud remained P1 for the Lap 151 restart and was never headed from there. Only the top four cars finished on the lead lap, with Scott Dixon in fifth the top Honda finisher.

 

Top Three Positions
1st
Simon Pagenaud
Team Penske
2st
Will Power
Team Penske
3st
JR Hildebrand
Ed Carpenter Racing
Past track winners
Simon Pagenaud / 2017
Scott Dixon / 2016
Sam Hornish, Jr. / 2005
Tony Kanaan / 2004
Tony Kanaan / 2003
Helio Castroneves / 2002
Sam Hornish, Jr. / 2001
Buddy Lazier / 2000
Scott Goodyear / 1999
Scott Sharp / 1998
Jim Guthrie / 1997
Arie Luyendyk / 1996
Robby Gordon / 1995
Emerson Fittipaldi / 1994
Mario Andretti / 1993
Bobby Rahal / 1992
Arie Luyendyk / 1991
Rick Mears / 1990
Rick Mears / 1989
Mario Andretti / 1988
Roberto Guerrero / 1987
Michael Andretti / 1986
Kevin Cogan / 1986
Al Unser / 1985
Bobby Rahal / 1984
Tom Sneva / 1984
Teo Fabi / 1983
Tom Sneva / 1982
Rick Mears / 1982
Tom Sneva / 1981
Johnny Rutherford / 1981
Tom Sneva / 1980
Al Unser / 1979
Gordon Johncock / 1979
Johnny Rutherford / 1978
Gordon Johncock / 1978
Gordon Johncock / 1977
Johnny Rutherford / 1977
Al Unser / 1976
Bobby Unser / 1976
A.J. Foyt / 1975
Johnny Rutherford / 1975
Gordon Johncock / 1974
Mike Mosley / 1974
Gordon Johncock / 1973
Bobby Unser / 1972
Bobby Unser / 1972
A.J. Foyt / 1971
Al Unser / 1971
Swede Savage / 1970
Al Unser / 1970
Al Unser / 1969
George Follmer / 1969
Gary Bettenhausen / 1968
Bobby Unser / 1968
Mario Andretti / 1967
Lloyd Ruby / 1967
Mario Andretti / 1966
Jim McElreath / 1966
A.J. Foyt / 1965
Don Branson / 1965
Lloyd Ruby / 1964
A.J. Foyt / 1964

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