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article imageIndyCar: Pagenaud caps ‘21 years of hard work’ with Detroit win

By John Duarte     Jun 3, 2013 in Sports
Detroit - Simon Pagenaud drove like a man on a mission, according to his car owner, and went on to win the second race in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s unbelievable,” said the French driver from Victory Circle. “I don’t know how we did it.”
How he did it was using good race strategy and a “super fast car,” as he called it, to stay near the front of the field. Pagenaud led a total of 18 laps, of the scheduled 70 around the Belle Isle Circuit, and took the lead for good on Lap 58, when then leader James Jakes pulled in to the pits.
“He wanted it really bad,” said car owner, and former IndyCar driver, Sam Schmidt. It was the first win in the series for the team owned by Schmidt and Davey Hamilton, also a former IndyCar driver.
Pagenaud became the sixth different winner in the series’ seven races to this point. After the race, he said it was “a great feeling” and hoped for more wins to come.
“I started karting when I was eight so it’s been 21 years of hard work to finally win an IndyCar race,” Pagenaud said.
Jakes finished second in Race 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, holding off third-place finisher Mike Conway by less than a half a second. Conway won Race 1 on Saturday.
Mike Conway capped off a very successful weekend with a third-place finish on Sunday. He had won the first race in the Dual in Detroit on Saturday.
Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti are tied for the lead in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship standings. Ryan Hunter-Reay sits third and is 15 points behind the leaders.
Castroneves drove his car home in eighth place and said he felt like “we just won the lottery” in being able to finish in the Top 10.
“What an adventurous day we had. We crashed and still somehow had a great race,” the Brazilian said, adding he had an overall great weekend. “We leave here tied for the top of the points standings, which is where we want to be.”
The next stop on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule is the Texas Motor Speedway, where the Firestone 550 races under the lights on June 8.
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