Simon Pagenaud Captures Pole for IndyCar MAVTV 500 running this afternoon …

Posted: June 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Simon Pagenaud earned his second career Indy car pole and first on an oval in leading a Team Penske sweep of the front row for the MAVTV 500 with a two-lap average speed of 218.952 mph at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway here in Fontana, California.

Pagenaud, driving the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet, topped teammate Helio Castroneves’ 2014 pole-winning average speed of 218.540 mph and will start on the front row for the third consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series race.

Castroneves qualified second with a two-lap average speed of 218.734 mph in the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet.

It is the fifth consecutive race that Team Penske entries have occupied the front row.

“Thanks to my crew for the preparations and it’s exciting to get a superspeedway pole,” said Pagenaud, who is in his first season with Team Penske. “Qualifying is one thing. It’s a reward for performance. We have a 500-mile race and hopefully I can reward the team for its hard work. It’s a brand new team that is gelling really well. It’s good. We’ve been working really hard on the No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet Team. It’s an amazing feeling.

“This (pole) is nice, but frankly you can win from the back in a 500-mile race like (Juan Pablo) Montoya did (in the Indianapolis 500). Lots of traffic tomorrow and it’s going to be important to keep your tires underneath you. Being able to run in different lanes and being smart in traffic is going to be key. And obviously there is going to be a lot of pit stops, too – so there’s a lot for tomorrow, but I’m just going to take this tonight and enjoy it.”

Pagenaud won his first Verizon P1 Award on June 28, 2014, at Houston. He has qualified in the top five in 10 of the 11 Verizon IndyCar Series races this season. Pagenaud also qualified on the front row for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

MAVTV 500 Qual Results-1Marco Andretti, whose two-lap average speed of 217.797 mph in the No. 27 Snapple Andretti Autosport Honda was third best of the 22 qualifiers, posted his highest qualifying result since securing the pole for the July 2013 race at Pocono Raceway. “We’ll have a pretty clean view for the start here. I’m pretty excited about the race car; I’m thrilled with where we ended up in quals – but I think my race car is really solid, and thankfully we won’t have to come from the back. Just really proud of everybody, we’re really maximizing everything.”

CFH Racing co-owner/driver Ed Carpenter, who has finished first, second and third in the past three races at Auto Club Speedway, qualified on the outside of Row 2 (217.666 mph) in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet.

Montoya, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader who is seeking to complete a career Triple Crown of 500-mile race victories at Pocono Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway, qualified fifth at 217.250 mph in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet.

Montoya will share Row 3 with defending race winner Tony Kanaan, who posted a two-lap average of 217.184 mph. Scott Dixon, runner-up to teammate Kanaan in the MAVTV 500 last August, matched his teammate’s qualification speed average 217.184 mph and will start seventh.

Dixon’s Car Livery Inspiring People to Get Moving …

Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar

Dixon is carrying a special orange and black livery on his No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet this weekend to promote Unilever’s Degree brand and the Degree Get Moving Challenge. The #GetMoving program challenges consumers for six weeks starting July 1 with fitness activities ranging from cardio kickboxing to full-sprint workouts. Participants can earn prizes including VISA gift cards, Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazine subscriptions, workout attire and a destination trip for a one-on-one workout session with celebrity trainer and transformation pro Chris Powell. For more information, visit www.degreegetmovingchallenge.com

Two INDYCAR Events Voted among Top 10 in Motorsports …

The Indianapolis 500 and Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach are among the world’s 10 best motorsports races, according to an online poll conducted by USA TODAY and 10Best.com. Results of the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Motorsports Race were released today, with the Indy 500 finishing second and the Long Beach street race ninth among 20 nominees.

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