Detroit IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud takes maiden win amid chaos

Simon Pagenaud took the first IndyCar win of his career in a chaotic second race of this weekend's double-header in Detroit

Detroit IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud takes maiden win amid chaos

On an afternoon where pit strategies were blown open by a procession of caution periods during the first half of the race, Schmidt Peterson driver Pagenaud worked himself towards the front during his middle stint, and had just taken the lead from James Jakes when he made his final stop.

But the gap to pursuers Dario Franchitti and Mike Conway was enough that Pagenaud was able to rejoin the track ahead of them, and he reclaimed the lead when Jakes - who was on a similar strategy to the Frenchman - made his final stop.

While Pagenaud disappeared up the road, Jakes rejoined from his stop in second and soon found himself under intense pressure from Saturday race winner Conway, who had dispatched Franchitti.

The pair fought all the way to the flag, with the fact that Jakes had four more hits of push to pass still available than Conway playing a big part in him keeping the Rahal Letterman Lanigan car ahead of his compatriot's Dale Coyne machine. The gap between them at the finish was just over 0.4 seconds.

Scott Dixon finished fourth after making a late pass on Ganassi team-mate Franchitti, who had been forced to back off right through his final stint in order to stretch his fuel to the end.

There were a total of six cautions during the race following a sequence of accidents that decimated the field to the point that by the halfway mark only 13 cars were still on the lead lap.

The worst accident was a multi-car pile up triggered when Sebastien Bourdais tipped Will Power into a spin on a restart, causing chaos behind him as cars swerved to avoid the spinning Penske driver.

At least 10 cars were involved, although most were patched back together and sent back out to salvage some points. Bourdais' car was undamaged, but he was issued a drive-through for causing avoidable contact.

Other noteworthy incidents included a single-car crash by Ryan Hunter-Reay, who made a mistake and hit the wall at Turn 8. Earlier, a failure on Simona de Silvestro's car ended the Swiss driver's race at the same spot.

AJ Allmendinger earned the unhappy distinction of crashing out on the first lap for the second time in 24 hours; an accident for which the Penske driver took responsibility. This weekend was the last of his currently scheduled outings in Penske's third car.

Results - 70 laps: Pos Driver Team/Engine Time/Gap 1. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda 1h56m14.7861s
2. James Jakes Rahal/Honda + 5.6274s
3. Mike Conway Coyne/Honda + 6.0616s
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda + 21.2953s
5. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda + 23.4917s
6. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy + 29.0629s
7. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda + 29.6681s
8. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy + 37.6446s
9. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda + 40.5396s
10. Sebastien Saavedra Dragon/Chevy + 51.4543s
11. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy + 1m13.1052s
12. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy + 1m14.1353s
13. Ryan Briscoe Panther/Chevy + 1 lap
14. Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda + 1 lap
15. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy + 4 laps
16. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda + 6 laps
17. EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy + 9 laps
18. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy + 11 laps
19. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy + 13 laps
20. Will Power Penske/Chevy + 17 laps
Retirements:
 Alex Tagliani Herta/Honda 27 laps
Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda 27 laps
Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 23 laps
Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy 8 laps
AJ Allmendinger Penske/Chevy 0 laps
All drivers use Dallara DW12 chassis
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Series IndyCar
Drivers Simon Pagenaud
Author Mark Glendenning
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