IndyCar explains no-call on Pagenaud's pit exit
The Verizon IndyCar Series has issued a statement regarding Simon Pagenaud’s pit departure after his final stop, that would proved crucial to his victory.
According to Race Control, Pagenaud’s route out of pitlane was “deemed an infraction per Rule 22.214.171.124. “Lane Usage” of the INDYCAR Penalty Guidelines – failing to follow designated procedures entering or exiting the pit area, including the proper use of the acceleration and deceleration lanes.
The statement read: “The penalty for this infraction ranges from a warning (minimum), putting the driver to the back of the field (mid) and drive-through or stop and go (maximum).
“IndyCar race stewards determined his actions were not severe enough to warrant a harsher penalty than the warning that was issued.”
Unsurprisingly, winner Simon Pagenaud agreed with the series’ assessment.
“It was an inch on the race track there, so I’m good,” he said following his first victory for Team Penske-Chevrolet. “The left sides on the right side of the dots, which it is; so I’m good.”
Dixon less convinced
Scott Dixon, who had stopped one lap earlier, was close enough to have his Chip Ganassi Racing-Chevrolet partly alongside Pagenaud’s car as it emerged from pitlane despite the Penske driver’s shortcut. Therefore it was reasoned that had Pagenaud followed pit-exit etiquette, Dixon would have taken the lead.
Instead, the #9 car spent the final stint trailing its rival by around a second, only closing in when backmarkers intervened in the final two laps.
The reigning four-time champion commented: “I really haven’t seen the replay too much but from what I am told, [Pagenaud] was definitely over [the blend line] with all four tires, which is a drive through or some sort of penalty to give the spot back. Apparently the #22 car got a warning for that opposed to getting a penalty.”
The 2015 Long Beach winner tried to look at the big picture but remained rueful.
“Obviously good points for the championship but ultimately we would have been liking to walk away with the top spot here…
“A win is a win and you always want to win.”
Pagenaud scores his first win for Team Penske
Andretti team seeks answers after lamentable Long Beach performance