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Phoenix IndyCar: First oval win for Simon Pagenaud, Penske dominant

Reigning IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud claimed his first ever oval win at Phoenix, taking advantage of a yellow during a pitstop phase to lead home a Penske 1-2-4

In a race dominated by the Penske quartet, the second round of stops just after half-distance started under green but then a full course yellow came out due to a crash by Takuma Sato.

Of the leaders only Pagenaud had not yet pitted at that point, which meant he had a temporary one-lap lead over those who had stopped.

He was able to pit under caution and lead for the restart, with a cushion of lapped cars between himself and his nearest challengers after they had been waved ahead to join Pagenaud on the lead lap.

Pagenaud was therefore able to make a break from his chasing Penske team-mates and quickly was several seconds clear of Will Power in second place. The result also means that Pagenaud now leads the points standings.

He was followed home by Power, whose podium ended a frustrating start to the season in which he was yet to finish above 13th.

Power only just held off Ed Carpenter Racing's JR Hildebrand in third.

Hildebrand, back in action after missing last weekend's Barber Motorsports Park race with a hand injury, was the only other driver to run with the Penskes at the front.

Helio Castroneves finished fourth, and was the last car on the lead lap.

Poleman Castroneves led the opening stint, then Power vaulted to the lead at the first round of stops, all under green, thanks to better in and out laps than those ahead. But he lost the lead to Pagenaud at the second round of stops.

The fourth Penske Dallara-Chevrolet of Josef Newgarden fell from contention late on after making contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay when lapping him, and then tagging the wall.

Newgarden's subsequent stop to replace his front wing lost him two laps. He finished ninth.

Ganassi's Scott Dixon was the first Honda runner home, a lap down in fifth, ahead of his team-mate Tony Kanaan in sixth.

Ed Carpenter finished seventh and Charlie Kimball eighth. Carlos Munoz completed the top 10 for AJ Foyt Enterprises.

The points leader heading into the race Sebastien Bourdais made it only as far as the first corner, after being caught up in a multi-car smash initiated by a spin by Mikhail Aleshin.

The incident also removed Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti and Max Chilton as well as Aleshin.

RESULTS - 250 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 1h46m24.9473s
2 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 9.1028s
3 J.R. Hildebrand Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 9.3417s
4 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 16.5864s
5 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1 Lap
6 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1 Lap
7 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 2 Laps
8 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 2 Laps
9 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 2 Laps
10 Carlos Munoz AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 3 Laps
11 Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 3 Laps
12 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 4 Laps
13 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda Mechanical
14 Conor Daly AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 70 Laps
15 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda Contact
16 Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda Contact
17 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda Contact
18 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda Contact
19 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda Contact
20 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda Contact
21 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda Contact

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Simon Pagenaud 159
2 Scott Dixon 141
3 Josef Newgarden 133
4 Sebastien Bourdais 128
5 James Hinchcliffe 120
6 Helio Castroneves 118
7 Will Power 91
8 Tony Kanaan 87
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay 82
10 Ed Jones 81
11 Takuma Sato 79
12 Alexander Rossi 75
13 J.R. Hildebrand 71
14 Carlos Munoz 68
15 Mikhail Aleshin 67
16 Charlie Kimball 61
17 Graham Rahal 59
18 Max Chilton 58
19 Marco Andretti 57
20 Conor Daly 57
21 Spencer Pigot 44
22 Ed Carpenter 26
23 Zach Veach 11


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