No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 85/85
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 8th (-166 pts)
Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet had their sights set on a podium finish after starting fourth in the Long Beach Grand Prix, but closed out the 2021 NTT INDYCAR Series season with the team’s third top-five finish of the year.
Starting the 85-lap race on black Firestone tires, Pagenaud fell a few spots in the opening laps before making his first pit stop on lap 20 as the yellow flag fell for the switch to red Firestone tires and a top off on fuel. The No. 22 Menards Chevy cycled out to sixth after the rest of the field had come through and Pagenaud maintained that position until his final stop of the day.
As cars made their way down pit road for their second scheduled stops, Pagenaud opted to stop for another set of red Firestone tires on lap 53. Feeling the car was handling well, the team made no adjustments and the yellow day glow Chevy was back out on track.
Once again the No. 22 team found themselves up to sixth once pit stops were complete as Pagenaud tried to remain within striking distance of the leaders. Unfortunately the No. 22 Menards Chevy was only able to collect one more spot to finish the day in fifth.
In a season filled with adversity, Pagenaud finishes the season eighth in points after earning two podium finishes and three top-five finishes on the year.
Quote: “P5 today in Long Beach. I enjoyed the weekend so much. We had so much pace, the car was beautiful. Obviously, the yellow day glow was bright out there. It was awesome and I enjoyed the race. We started on the black Firestone tires, trying to do something different than the others and hopefully gain position in the next exchange going to red tires versus the black. It could have worked but we had a bad pit stop unfortunately so we settled where we were, yellow came out and we were in good shape, finished fifth. I think that was about where we could have been so pretty happy with today. Thank you to Chevy, thank you to Menards, and thank you Team Penske. It was an amazing weekend.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!