Team Penske Chevrolet driver Simon Pagenaud put on a dominant display at Phoenix Raceway Saturday night, leading 113 of 250 laps to take his first win of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Pagenaud moved into the lead on Lap 137 and drove a consistent race to put his No. 1 Menards Chevy in victory lane. The Frenchman described the race as one of his better wins and said the Team Penske crew provided him with an exceptionally strong car.
“Those were the longest 50 laps of my life,” Pagenaud told IndyCar.com. “I have a button on my wheel that tells me how many laps were left. I kept pressing it. It was stressful.”
“The car was phenomenal. It was an incredible day for the Menards Chevrolet,” he added. “It’s been a fun day. This is incredible. This is my best win. You need to be so strategic to win on an oval and today was the perfect day. I couldn’t be any happier.”
Chevrolet driver J.R. Hildebrand also put in a strong performance, posting his first top three finish since he finished second in the 2011 Indy 500. Splitting Hildebrand and Pagneaud in second was Team Penske’s Will Power, while Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon completed the top five after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.