INDIANAPOLIS – Simon Pagenaud made a daring and brilliant pass of Scott Dixon in the wet on the next-to-last lap and went on to win Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix.
The driver of the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet pulled away to beat Dixon by 2.0469 seconds, winning the NTT IndyCar Series race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the third time in its six-race history. He and teammate Will Power have won every INDYCAR Grand Prix to date.
Starting eighth in the 85-lap race that ran from start to finish in varying conditions of rain, Pagenaud charged from sixth place in the final 18 laps in slick conditions to collect his 12th career win and first since the 2017 season finale.
With the entire 24-car field on rain tires for the final stint, Pagenaud passed Matheus Leist of AJ Foyt Racing with 10 laps to go for third place and Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey for second five laps later. The 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion then set his sights Dixon.
When the five-time series champion slid a little wide exiting Turn 7 on Lap 84 of 85, Pagenaud dove inside the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The two cars made light contact in the series of corners before Pagenaud exited Turn 9 in front and pulled away to his first win in 23 races.
The win was No. 205 for Team Penske in its 51-year Indy car history. It was also the team’s 24th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that includes 17 in the Indianapolis 500, five in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and two in NASCAR competition.
Dixon finished second in the INDYCAR Grand Prix for the third straight year. It was also the reigning champion’s 43rd career runner-up finish, ranking second all time only to the 56 of Mario Andretti.
Meanwhile, Harvey finished a career-best third in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda and Leist a career-best fourth in the No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.
Points leader Josef Newgarden struggled to a 15th-place finish in the No. 2 Fitzgerald USA Team Penske Chevrolet but retains the unofficial points lead by six over Dixon after six of 17 races.
NBCSN will present an encore broadcast of the INDYCAR Grand Prix at 2 p.m. ET Monday.
NTT IndyCar Series teams are busy the next two days preparing cars for the opening of Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge practice on Tuesday. Qualifying for the 103rd running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” takes place May 18 and 19.
Live coverage of the Indy 500 begins at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, May 26 on NBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Power is the defending race champion.