It was an unfortunate day for Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 DXC Technology Dallara/Chevrolet as bad luck plagued the team which settled for a 16th-place finish in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES INDYCAR Harvest GP Race 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The team’s misfortune began during qualifying on Thursday when, after beginning the session on primary compound Firestone tires and planning to switch to alternate compound tires for a faster lap, a red flag came out for Takuma Sato that ended the session. Pagenaud would qualify in the 22nd position.
Knowing the team would have to battle from the back of the field, a confident Simon Pagenaud and DXC Technology Chevrolet team approached the event like the race they won in Iowa just a few months prior where they started from the last position before finishing in victory lane.
In hopes of using a different strategy than the rest of the field, team strategist Kyle Moyer called Pagenaud to the pits on lap 9 for fresh alternate compound Firestone tires, fuel and a front wing adjustment in hopes of improving downforce and finding speed to advance quickly through the field. The plan seemed to work as Pagenaud found himself running the 14th position just 10 laps later on lap 19.
Running in 11th, Pagenaud returned to the pits on lap 33 for fuel, tires and a front wing adjustment.
By lap 65, Pagenaud found himself running 16th and would remain in that position for the rest of the 85-lap event.
"Congratulations to Josef on the win today. It was a great race out there today. We still have some work to do on the DXC Technology Chevrolet for tomorrow's race but we will get there. While things didn't go our way today, it's a great result for the team and good for the championship. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race and hopefully we can end the weekend with another win for Team Penske."