INDIANAPOLIS — Windermere Prep alum Spencer Pigot nearly secured the coveted Indianapolis 500 pole, but he had to settle for a front-row start after fireworks elsewhere.
Simon Pagenaud found a new way to impress his team owner.
Last weekend, he rallied in the rain to end a 21-race drought. On Sunday, he put Roger Penske back on the pole for the Indianapolis 500. And he may not be finished.
Pagenaud traded high-fives and pumped his fist along pit row after earning the first Indy pole by a French driver in a century. He had a four-lap qualifying average of 229.992 mph to edge Ed Carpenter and Pigot and give Chevrolet a clean sweep of the front row for next Sunday's race.
“Watching him run in that road race, in the water, I've never seen a run like that in my life,” Penske said after the team captured its 266th IndyCar pole. “And then to come out here and win the pole? We've got great momentum.”
Pigot had the fastest car on Saturday and would have had the pole if the rain had washed out qualifying.
But the track stayed dry just long enough for Pagenaud to take an even more trimmed-out car around the track quickly and smoothly.
It was all he needed.
“I wouldn’t say I was doing a rain dance all day,” Pigot said. “As a race car driver, we love driving IndyCars to the limit and you definitely get a chance to do that here with qualifying. So any chance we get to put four laps together here, it’s exciting. Unfortunately, it was a little short, but it was a great day for the team.”
The timing couldn't have been better for Pagenaud.
To read the full article in the Orlando Sentinel, click https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/nascar/os-sp-indy-500-spencer-pigot-20190520-cjejsw7h7ra5vco7yyhk3b7ymm-story.html