No. 1000
June 12, 2019
 

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The Line


Monday
May272019

MAY 27, 2019

(Photo by Walter Kuhn/INDYCAR)
"The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" lived up to its reputation on Sunday, as Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Team Penske MENARDS Chevrolet Turbo V6/Dallara) delivered the biggest win of his racing life, capturing the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in a duel for the ages.
 Pagenaud edged Alexander Rossi (No. 27 Andretti Autosport NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda Turbo V6) by 0.2086 of a second following a titanic clash over the final fourteen laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the seventh-closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history. "It's amazing. It's another dream come true, and the biggest dream of my life come true," said Pagenaud, the 35-year-old native of Montmorillon, France. "It's hard to fathom, really. It's really hard to process it right now, but I'm just filled with a lot of joy." Pagenaud and Rossi swapped the lead five times in the closing laps, the last when Pagenaud passed Rossi on the outside heading into Turn 3 on the 199th of 200 laps around the famous 2.5-mile oval. It was Pagenaud's first Indy 500 triumph and 13th career NTT IndyCar Series victory. On the heels of his win May 11 in the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course, Pagenaud became the first driver to win more than one NTT IndyCar Series race this season and second Team Penske pilot to win both IMS races in the same year, following Will Power in 2018. "I drove really spirited today, but it's just incredible," Pagenaud said. "I can't take all the credit because I think it showed I had the best car out there. The car was just on rails; the yellows came out perfectly. The stars are aligned. ... It's pretty amazing." Pagenaud, the 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion, also pushed to eighteen the number of Indianapolis 500 wins for team owner Roger Penske, thirteen more than the next nearest owner. "Simon wasn't going to be beat today," Penske said. "He raced clean, and that's what I have to say about Rossi also. The two of them for the laps that they ran side by side was as good of racing as you've ever seen here." With double race points available Sunday, Pagenaud also vaulted into the series championship lead by a single point over Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden.
(Photo by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR)
(Photo by John Cote/INDYCAR)
Roger Penske, Simon Pagenaud and Team Penske celebrate Pagenaud's victory in the Indy 500 on Sunday. It was The Captain's eighteenth Indianapolis 500 win.
(Photo by Shawn Gritzmacher/INDYCAR)
Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indy 500 winner as a rookie, overcame two lengthy pit stops for refueling issues, and then stormed back from mid-pack to contend for the win. Rossi was in first place on the final race restart on Lap 187, following a crash involving six cars that included an eighteen-minute red-flag stoppage, but Pagenaud forged ahead by the time they'd reached start/finish line to complete the lap. Rossi and Pagenaud exchanged the lead twice on Lap 189 before Rossi went back in front on Lap 198 heading into Turn 1. On the next lap Pagenaud made a similar outside pass, this time going into Turn 3, to take the lead for good. Rossi's second-place finish marked the Californian's fourth top-seven Indy 500 result in as many tries. "We were flat in that final lap coming to the flag - we just didn't have enough," Rossi said. "You can't take anything away from the (No.) 22 guys. They were on pole, they led a lot of laps, did a good job and had a fast race car. I think the NAPA car was superior if you look at what we were able to do in traffic. I don't think anyone else was doing that. It's really disappointing. I thought there was a period of time there where we were going to get the win."
(Photo by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)
Takuma Sato (No. 30 
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing MI-JACK/PANASONIC Honda Turbo V6), the 2017 Indy 500 winner, recovered from pit-stop issues of his own, going down a lap early before recovering to finish third. "My race, (at) one stage it looked really tough," Sato said. "We got some little issues after the first pit stop, so we had to come back. I think it's still great result to the team, especially considering we were a lap down in 31st. I think it was great."
 
Editor-in-Chief's Note: How lucrative is the Indianapolis 500? Simon Pagenaud earned $2,669,529 from an overall purse of $13,090,536 for his victory Sunday, May 26, in the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Alexander Rossi finished second, .2086 of a second behind Pagenaud; for that he took home $759,179. Takuma Sato earned $540,454 for finishing third. Josef Newgarden got a check for $462,904 for finishing fourth. Will Power finished fifth and earned $444,554. And Santino Ferrucci earned $435,404 for his seventh-place finish after starting 23rd, which included $50,000 for being named Rookie of the Year. -PMD
(Formula 1)
Lewis Hamilton (No. 44 Mercedes-AMG Petronas) endured a frantic afternoon in Monaco to secure the 77th win of his career, and his third in Monaco, finishing ahead of Sebastian Vettel (No. 5 Scuderia Ferrari) and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas 
(No. 77 Mercedes-AMG Petronas). Hamilton, wearing a special Niki Lauda tribute helmet, battled Max Verstappen (No. 33 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing) through most of the race, while he struggled to extend the life of the medium compound tires put on during a Safety Car period caused by a puncture for Charles Leclerc (No. 16 Scuderia Ferrari). Despite finishing just behind winner Hamilton on the road, Verstappen was eventually classified fourth, having been given a five second penalty for an unsafe release earlier in the race. Editor-in-Chief's Note: My recipe for "fixing" Monaco, because other than the spectacular venue the race is damn-near unwatchable? Mandate Monaco-specific cars with contemporary safety standards, but with minimal, single-plane wings and 600HP normally-aspirated V8s. With all the money being wasted in F1, I'm sure it wouldn't take much to create Monaco-specific cars that would liven-up the racing. Because what's going on now isn't compelling in the least. -PMD
(Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing BASS PRO SHOPS/TRACKER BOATS/USO Toyota Camry) survived an early brush with the outside wall and a frantic restart with five laps left to win Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The interminable race featured sixteen cautions, the most since the record 22 in 2005. Truex made a four-wide pass to the inside coming off Turn 2 on Lap 396 of 400 at the 1.5-mile track and beat runner-up Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske SHELL PENNZOIL Ford Mustang) to the finish line by .330 seconds. It was Truex’s third win of the season, matching Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch and Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski for most in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series so far. It was also his third win at Charlotte and the 22nd Cup victory of his career. Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing M&Ms RED, WHITE & BLUE Toyota Camry) finished third.
(Trans Am)
Chris Dyson (No. 20 Plaid Ford Mustang) scored his first Trans Am presented by Pirelli victory on Monday at Lime Rock Park. Starting from the pole, Dyson never surrendered the lead to claim his first TA victory of the season, following 100 minutes of flat out racing, just days after suffering a heavy crash in sprint car competition. Dyson, unsure if he was going to be medically cleared to participate following a wreck in the Hoosier 100 on Thursday that sent him to the hospital, also seized the points lead in the tight TA championship with his win. “To think two days ago I was laying in a hospital bed, not knowing if I was going to make it here,” said Dyson. “I told my dad they were going to have to tie me to this bed if they’re going to keep me from racing in Lime Rock. Luckily I was cleared to race because this might be my biggest career win. It’s so special to see all my friends and family members waving as I drive by, it’s just a fantastic feeling.” Ernie Francis Jr. (No. 98 Frameless Shower Doors Ford Mustang) recovered from an early-race setback to claim a hard-fought second place result ahead of Josh Hurley (No. 03 McAleese and Associates Chevrolet Camaro) to complete the podium as Trans Am returned to the traditional Memorial Day weekend event at Lime Rock Park. 
(Lime Rock Park)
(Ford)
The 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans will be the final Le Mans for the current factory Ford GT program. When the four factory Ford GTs arrive at the famous La Sarthe Circuit at Le Mans, they will be seen for the very first time in new liveries, each of which has a special meaning. They will also be joined by a fifth Ford GT, racing in the GTE Am class with Keating Motorsports. The No. 66 Ford GT raced by Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson has a black livery that echoes that of the Ford GT40 of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon that won Le Mans in 1966. The Ford GT40 that Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove to victory at Le Mans in 1967 is remembered in the new livery of the No. 67 Ford GT that will be raced by Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito. The No. 68 Ford GT is Ford’s most recent Le Mans winner, taking the checkered flag first in the GTE class in the 2016 race. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Sébastien Bourdais will race in the same colors as at Le Mans in 2016. The No. 69 Ford GT of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook takes its design cues from the Ford GT40 that came second in Ford’s 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans in 1966. Editor-in-Chief's Note: I always thought that the weakest part of the Ford GT effort was the graphic presentation. Why they didn't use the international racing colors for the Unites States - White with Blue - like the first Ford GTs raced was beyond me. And if not that color scheme, why not go with some of the liveries from 1966-1967? Now it appears that they have seen the light, just in time to pull the plug on the entire program. Nice. -PMD