Simon Pagenaud won the Indianapolis 500 and posted his first win at this legendary race. The 35-year old from France, was superb earlier today, managing to endure Alexander Rossi’s attempts to pass him, earning one the biggest triumphs in his career.
Pagenaud, himself, stated that after the race, expressing happiness and joy because of a fantastic landmark.
“It’s a dream come true [after] a life of trying to achieve this,” Pagenaud said. “I’m just speechless. It’s just incredible. I never expected to be in this position, but I certainly was trying to make it as hard as I could.”
Even though the French driver did have one other victory here, nothing could compare with today’s feeling. Back on 11th of May, he won the IndyCar Grand Prix at the same venue, but with a different track configuration. It appears that Indianapolis Motor Speedway suits him very well at this time of the year.
Pagenaud was very convincing this Sunday, being in the lead 116 laps from 200. He started from the pole position using that advantage in the best possible way.
Alexander Rossi was behind him in the final stage of the race, with the 28-year old taking the lead at one moment but not for long. Their battle in those moments is something every fan will remember for a long time.
In the end, the difference between the winner and the second-placed was 0.2086 seconds. According to the data analysists, it is the 7th closest race ever here.
The intensity, the fire, and desire for the win of both guys were simply amazing. The reason for that was the recent speculation which suggested Rossi’s arrival to Team Penske, and him replacing Pagenaud.
We can only imagine how these two drivers felt while chasing one another in those ultimate laps. Roger Penske stated that after this victory, Pagenaud isn’t going anywhere.
“Do I even have to answer that?” Penske asked when one of the reporters mentioned the future of the French driver.
For him, it couldn’t be better. Will Power posted a win here last year, and Team Penske defended the crown this season. After 16 years it is the first time one team managed to do that, and overall, this is the 18th victory for them at Indianapolis 500. Today’s one will have a special place because it came on the 50th anniversary of Team Penske’s first appearance at this track.
Since we started with history, just to mention one more thing. France had to wait 105 years to see one of its citizens win at Indy 500. Back in 1914, Rene Thomas won, and now Pagenaud repeated that success.
“I never expected to be in this position,” Pagenaud said, “and I certainly am grateful.”
It needs to be stressed out, that Rossi’s driving was astonishing and that he too needs to be credited. He was a bit disappointed after the race ended.
“Nothing else matters but winning,” Rossi said. “This one will be hard to get over.”
Andretti Autosport’s driver had a lot of bad luck throughout the event. At first, he had problems with fuel hose during one pit stop. After that, Oriol Servia, who was a lap behind, didn’t move aside to let Rossi pass, which caused for more lost seconds.
President Trump congratulated Roger Penske on another win in Indianapolis, suggesting that he might be a “lucky charm” to his friend. After the race ended, President Trump called Penske and talked with him, after which he congratulated Pagenaud, too.
Congratulations to the Great (and my friend) Roger Penske on winning his 18th (UNBELIEVABLE!) Indianapolis 500. I am in Japan, very early in the morning, but I got to watch Simon drive one of the greatest races in the history of the sport. I will see them both, & TEAM, at the WH!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019
He would later do the same on Twitter.
As for other big names, Matt Damon and Christian Bale had a role of their own in this edition of the world’s most famous race.
Both actors waved with green flags, becoming the honorary starters of the event.
The next race takes place in Detroit at the Chevrolet Grand Prix. The start is on June 1, at 3 p.m. Eastern time.