Pagenaud duels Rossi in 2019 Indy 500

2019 Indy 500: Pagenaud vs. Rossi

Simon Pagenaud

Motorheads left high and dry by the absence of racing would do well to tune it to NBC on Sunday, May 24, for a replay of one of the most exciting races in recent memory.

A year ago in the Indianapolis 500, Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi engaged in a duel for the ages, trading the lead five times over the final 14 laps following a restart. With three laps to go, Rossi appeared to be pulling away but Pagenaud wasn’t done.

He executed a pass with 1 1/2 laps left and managed to hold off a hard charging Rossi to win the race by .2 seconds.

The victory gave the 34-year-old Frenchman not only his first win in the “Great American Race,” but also a sweep of Indy, having won the Grand Prix of Indianapolis two weeks earlier. It also marked the 18th Indy 500 win for Team Penske.

“It’s hard to believe right now …,” he said after taking the winner’s traditional swig of milk in Victory Lane. “It’s been such an intense race. The car was just on rails.”

The victory would also give Pagenaud a short-lived lead in the IndyCar Series championship, one that he would relinquish to teammate Josef Newgarden the following race in Detroit.

Pagenaud would earn one more win in 2019, at the Honda Indy Toronto in July, to give him three for the season, to go along with four podium finishes and three pole positions as he finished as series runner up to Newgarden.

But it is his victory at Indy that he will remember for a lifetime and will put his name down forever in racing history.

Name: Simon Pagenaud

Birth date: May 18, 1984

Birthplace: Montmorillon, France

Height/Weight: 5 feet 10 inches/168 pounds

Car: Dallara Chevrolet

No.: 22

Owner: Team Penske

Honors and achievements: Atlantic Championship (2006); American Le Mans Series championship (2010); IndyCar Rookie of the Year (2012); IndyCar Series championship (2016)

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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