Photo: Chris Owens
For the third time in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud won from pole, but it took one untimely caution, then a timely caution and a little bit of beating and banging with his teammate to claim victory in The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Pagenaud took the checkered flag after 90 laps around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 4.1620 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power, his chief rival for the 2016 championship.
CLICK HERE: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio unofficial results
Pagenaud (No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet) and Power (No.12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) locked out the front row in Saturday’s Verizon P1 Award qualifying, and started the race creating an early gap from the field. But while those two made hay early, the opening stages of the race dealt major blows to several other championship contenders.
On Lap 15, five-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing) made contact with Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves (No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet), bringing out the first caution of the day, breaking Dixon’s left front suspension and eliminating him from contention.
“Helio was coming out of the pits on the pit exchange and we were trying to go off sequence,” explained a frustrated Dixon. “He was off pace and we caught him on the exit of Turn 1. I got alongside him and he kept edging me over until I just had nowhere to go.”
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