Pagenaud, Schmidt Hamilton Win Race 2 at Belle Isle

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 2 2013

Frenchman Simon Pagenaud sprays champagne in Victory Circle at Belle Isle. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

It was a day of firsts on the second day of the Indy Dual in Detroit IZOD IndyCar Series event at the Belle Isle street circuit. The first first belonged to driver Simon Pagenaud who won the crash-filled race Sunday, while the second first belonged to Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton, who won their first race as team owners.

Pagenaud, a Frenchman, finished 5.6 seconds in front of Britain’s James Jakes in the second of two races on the 2.36-mile Belle Isle street course.

In getting the win, Pagenaud became the sixth winner in seven series races this year and third first-time winner.

“It’s unbelievable. I don’t know how we did it,” said Pagenaud, who turned 29 on May 18. “It’s a great feeling. One I hope of more to come. I started karting when I was 8 so it’s been 21 years of hard work to finally win an IndyCar race.

“It was the toughest race of my life (in Race 1 on June 1 when he started eighth but finished 12th) and my engineers improved everything. The car was just super fast and strategy was awesome. Every restart we just went forward.”

Mike Conway, who won Saturday’s race with just three cautions, finished third. Scott Dixon was fourth, followed by Dario Franchitti.

Jakes said of his best finish, “It’s huge. It’s huge for a lot of people. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan guys have done a great job this weekend. This one is for Honda. Three Hondas on the podium in Detroit again. They’ve really worked their butts off since Indy, and we’re proud of them. The No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts-StemCyte car was just magical today. It was tough, obviously. In the beginning it wasn’t going our way but we stayed patient and then we got a stint in the middle part of the race where we were able to push like hell and manage the lead. Thanks to the guys.”

In Race 1 on Saturday, Conway overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead on Lap 44, built a 20-second gap leading into the final round of pit stops and went on to easily claim his second series victory.

With finishes of sixth and eighth respectively Sunday, Marco Andretti and Helio Castroneves left Detroit tied for the series points lead.

“We were missing a little bit to the top guys,” Andretti said, “but I think we got about as good as we can get from starting 14th. All the RC Cola guys did their part in the pits and with strategy, and I was able to hang on and gain a little ground. But, like I said, we were still a little bit off. It’s good to get back up there in the points and we’ll keep marching forward at Texas next weekend.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

Results Sunday of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans #2 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (6) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

2. (2) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

3. (1) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

4. (7) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

5. (16) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

6. (14) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

7. (18) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

8. (9) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

9. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

10. (11) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

11. (22) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

12. (19) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

13. (13) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running

14. (20) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running

15. (23) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 66, Running

16. (24) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 64, Running

17. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 61, Running

18. (4) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 59, Running

19. (10) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 57, Running

20. (3) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 53, Running

21. (25) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 27, Contact

22. (8) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 27, Contact

23. (21) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 23, Contact

24. (17) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 8, Contact

25. (12) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 0, Contact

Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 84.906

Time of Race: 01:56:14.7861

Margin of victory: 5.6274

Cautions: 6 for 22 laps

Lead changes: 8 among seven drivers

Lap Leaders:

Power 1 – 3

Conway 4 – 28

Kanaan 29 – 38

Vautier 39

Conway 40 – 45

Kimball 46 – 48

Pagenaud 49 – 54

Jakes 55 – 58

Pagenaud 59 – 70

Point Standings: Castroneves 206, Andretti 206, Hunter-Reay 191, Dixon 186, Pagenaud 177, Sato 175, Wilson 169, Kanaan 160, Hinchcliffe 154, Kimball 149.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 2 2013
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