Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

May 12, 2014

Pagenaud takes wild Indy Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS — While the crowd at Saturday’s inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis was a fraction of that at an Indy 500, attendees saw an eventful race from the opening second.

The first IndyCar Series event of the new-look month of May began with starting-line carnage, and ended with Simon Pagenaud taking the checkered flag.

Pagenaud assumed the lead with four laps left. In having just enough gas to cross the finish line, the 29-year-old held off Ryan Hunter-Reay and a charging Helio Castroneves, who finished second and third, respectively.

"I’m very proud to be the second Frenchman to win in Indianapolis, and the first to win the Indianapolis Grand Prix," said Pagenaud, who started on the outside of Row 2. "The fuel saving was amazing, and nerve-wracking. I was worried about (Hunter-Reay) coming back, and I didn't know what Helio was doing."

The beginning of the race was one of the craziest in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history. Pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra’s No. 17 car stalled during the standing start, and was nicked by Carlos Munoz before getting smashed into by Mikhail Aleshin. The debris also took out the car of Mike Conway, who returned 17 laps in, and a small piece hit the elbow of ceremonial flag-waver and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who was okay.

Saavedra was distraught following the mess that was his first-ever series pole.

"To not even get the chance because of an electrical thing or something, it pisses me off," Saavedra said.

The remaining cars rolled through eight yellow-flag laps while the sizable debris field was cleaned up. When the green flag dropped, intense jockeying for position commenced, as was the case on every restart.

Just before the halfway point, 2008 Indy 500 champ Scott Dixon, who was running fourth, put his car into the gravel, ruining his chances of victory.

Jack Hawksworth dominated the first half of the race, leading 30 of 42 laps. The next-closest was Hunter-Reay with 10.

Two yellows slowed action shortly after the midway point, including one after Martin Plowman got airborne and ended up in the grass.

Hunter-Reay took the lead when choosing not to pit during the first yellow, but was passed by Justin Wilson just before another flag on lap 52, which was caused by Graham Rahal hitting the wall on the frontstretch.

Rahal put the blame on Juan Pablo Montoya for bumping him.

"I don’t know what he was doing a lap down, but he just ruined our day," Rahal said of Montoya, who was black-flagged for the incident.

Castroneves took the lead with 25 laps left, and needed a yellow to stretch fuel to avoid pitting one last time. He didn’t get it, and Sebastian Bourdais and Oriol Servia led before also having to pit, which opened it up for Pagenaud, who moved in front to stay on lap 78.

After the event, IMS President J. Douglas Boles couldn't have been more pleased with the total outcome.

"After over eight months of hard work and dedication of the entire Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff, we are thrilled with the reception of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis by the fans and drivers alike," Boles said. "Our goal was to create a new buzz and excitement at the beginning of May as we build anticipation for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500, and we believe that today’s race accomplished that goal."

Follow Westside Flyer sports writer Brent Glasgow on Twitter @ BGlasgow37.

 

1
Text Only
Westside
  • Lawson launches financial literacy program |Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson recently launched the Indiana MoneyWise financial literacy program. The program, formerly known as Indiana Investment Watch, is focused on improving Hoosiers’ financial literacy and protecting investors from

    August 22, 2014

  • WSF 8-26 spt bd vb pic-1 Giants fall in season opener After a shaky start, Brownsburg gained more confidence with each passing set in Tuesday’s 26-28, 26-24, 25-14, 25-19 season-opening victory at Ben Davis. For Brownsburg coach Bob Yeager, it looked like a typical debut match. “There were a lot more va

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Venison donation program continues |A program that allows hunters to give deer meat to the public will continue again this fall. GiveIN Game, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife’s venison donation program, will be available for its fourth year. Hunte

    August 21, 2014

  • Venison donation program continues |A program that allows hunters to give deer meat to the public will continue again this fall. GiveIN Game, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife’s venison donation program, will be available for its fourth year. Hunte

    August 21, 2014

  • Labor Day holiday closings |Don Snemis, commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), has announced that all BMV license branches will be closed Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. All license branches will resume their regularly sched

    August 21, 2014

  • Gaming revenues rush over the border as Illinois expands slots |INDIANAPOLIS — Beer and barbecue aren’t the only draws to Daddy-O’s Bar & Grill in the small town of Paris, Ill., 15 miles from the Indiana border. The prospect of winning pulls in customers, as well. Since the neighborhood bar installed five video

    August 21, 2014

  • What's going on at your local library? All Indianapolis Public Library locations will be closed Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day, except for the InfoZone, located within The Children’s Museum at 3000 N. Meridian St., which will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Decatu

    August 20, 2014

  • Enhancements being made to IND Terminal Garage Taking advantage of the closest parking to the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) terminal will become an even smoother process, thanks to several initiatives underway in the Terminal Garage. The projects, which will be completed over the next

    August 20, 2014

  • Enhancements being made to IND Terminal Garage Taking advantage of the closest parking to the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) terminal will become an even smoother process, thanks to several initiatives underway in the Terminal Garage. The projects, which will be completed over the next

    August 19, 2014

  • WSF 8-19 news med research pic Clinical research company looking for test subjects Community Medical Research Partners are looking for volunteers to help with pharmaceutical research.“All drugs that meet FDA approval have to go through a clinical trial process,” explains Michele Hall, director of operations for CMRP. “They first st

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
High School Football Scoreboard Poll
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Are you worried about the violence in Ferguson, Mo., spreading across the country?

Yes
No
Not concerned one way or the other
     View Results
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read