Pagenaud continues string of top-five finishes at Barber

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Simon Pagenaud finished fourth, while his rookie teammate Mikhail Aleshin placed 22nd.

Simon Pagenaud earned his third consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series top-five finish in the rain-delayed Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday, April 27, placing fourth despite falling back to 13th early in the race after sliding off track.

The Frenchman remains third in the championship standings with 92 points in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda, just 33 behind leader Will Power.

"We had a fantastic start in the wet conditions," Pagenaud said. "The car was fast, especially on the out laps on cold tires and in the wet. We were gaining spots quickly before (Juan Pablo) Montoya pushed us off track. We went all the way back to 13th but still managed to make our way back up to fourth, which is incredible."

The 100-minute timed race ended under caution on Lap 69.

"I wish we would have had another restart at the end because I think we were strong enough that we may have advanced another spot," Pagenaud said. "Overall, it is a super result, though. We've had real consistency in the first three races here at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, which is an encouraging start to our championship."

Honda-powered cars occupied three of the top four places at the finish at Barber Motorsports Park.

"Hats off to Honda," Pagenaud said. "I think in those treacherous conditions the power delivery was exceptional."

Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Mikhail Aleshin placed 22nd after an incident in Turn 13 eliminated him from the race on Lap 63.

Aleshin climbed from 11th to seventh early in the race before spinning off course in Turn 5 in the No. 7 SMP Racing Honda.

"The rolling start went much better for me today," Aleshin said. "I was overtaking cars one by one, which is exactly what I set out to do. I had a really tough battle with (Sebastien) Bourdais, and everything was fair until he took me off the track in Turn 5. The car stalled, and it took two laps for me to get restarted and join the race again."

Aleshin gained one lap back before another incident ended his day on lap 63.

"Honestly, I was really upset with being a lap down, and I was pushing as hard as I possibly could to make up every bit of ground," Aleshin said. "I ran too hard in Turn 13 and touched the wet area on the track. It sent me straight into the wall."

Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport won the race. The Verizon IndyCar Series resumes action on May 10 for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

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Series INDYCAR
Article type Race reports
Tags alabama, barber, mikhail aleshin, schmidt peterson motorsports, simon pagenaud, spm