IndyCar leader Simon Pagenaud feared back pain would sideline him

Mid-Ohio IndyCar polesitter Simon Pagenaud feared he might have to sit out qualifying due to back pain

IndyCar leader Simon Pagenaud feared back pain would sideline him

The Penske driver ultimately claimed his sixth pole of the 2016 season ahead of team-mate Will Power but said earlier on Saturday the discomfort had been "10 out of 10".

"I'm struggling," Pagenaud admitted.

"I didn't know if I was going to be doing qualifying to be honest.

"But the doctors took good care of me, and I managed to get in the car, and once the adrenaline got in, it was better."

Mid-Ohio qualifying report

Pagenaud said he was not yet sure what had caused the problem, but that it had started in Friday morning practice.

"We don't know yet what it is exactly," Pagenaud said.

"I was in Turn 1, the third lap in on Friday, and then all of a sudden it was like somebody jammed a knife in my back.

"I've been struggling to drive, honestly.

"I haven't been doing much, letting my team-mates get the car sorted, and I've been trying to rest as much as possible.

"But the doctors took good care of me and tried to have the muscle relax.

"We'll see what it is on Monday. I guess I'm going to race anyway."

Pagenaud received an injection into his back from the IndyCar medical team on Saturday morning ahead of practice and qualifying.

He will have a half-hour warm-up session plus the 90-lap race around the undulating road course to get through on Sunday.

The Frenchman currently leads the IndyCar standings by 47 points over Power.

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