Pagenaud sixth winner in seven races

Pagenaud sixth winner in seven races

3 June 2013 – On Sunday Simon Pagenaud claimed victory in Detroit and became the sixth winner already in just seven races this IndyCar season after multiple cautions that jumbled the running order and ruined the weekend for many drivers on Belle Isle.

The French driver was as exhausted as the push-to-pass operations available in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car over the 70-lap race but smiling broadly after earning his first IZOD IndyCar Series victory.

It also was the 100th for Honda with Indy car engine manufacturer competition (199th overall), which is fitting as Pagenaud has been associated with Honda in multiple programs since 2008 and will drive a Honda vehicle in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb later this month.

He's the sixth different winner -- from six different countries -- in seven races and the third first-time winner this season.

“It’s unbelievable. I don’t know how we did it,” said Pagenaud, who turned 29 on May 18. “It’s a great feeling. One I hope of more to come. I started karting when I was 8 so it's been 21 years of hard work to finally win an IndyCar race.

“It was the toughest race of my life (in Race 1 on June 1 when he started eighth but finished 12th) and my engineers improved everything. The car was just super fast and strategy was awesome. Every restart we just went forward.”

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