Photo: Bret Kelley/INDYCAR

Pagenaud’s Championship Hopes Take Big Hit at Pocono

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Simon Pagenaud’s quest to win his first Verizon IndyCar Series title took a huge hit on Monday’s postponed edition of the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

The 32-year-old Frenchman wrecked hard in Turn 1 on lap 158 after his No. 22 Menard’s Team Penske Chevrolet had bottomed out.

“We just had a crash,” Pagenaud said. “The car bottomed and I went straight to the wall. Really weird because I had bottoming but not to that extent. I just lost control of the steering. It felt okay leaving the pits. Turn 1 was fine. Turn 2 was fine. I don’t know. That one’s weird but it’s definitely a bit of a shame.

“We didn’t have a really good car today but still it was important to score points. It was important to save fuel and stay in the top seven. It was really difficult in Turn 3 all day (with the wind).  Turn 1 changed when the wind shifted and died down. We’ll see what happens at the end of the day. It’s out of our control now. All we can do now is race on to the end of the year.”

With championship rival and Team Penske teammate Will Power going on to win at the 2.5-mile oval, Pagenaud saw his points lead dwindle from 58 to now 20 with three races remaining.

Next up for the Verizon IndyCar Series is the resuming of the rain-postponed Firestone 600 next Saturday on August 27 at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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