Simon Pagenaud emerges victorious from crash-filled Detroit Grand Prix
Frenchman earns 1st IndyCar win
Simon Pagenaud survived a demolition derby, winning the crash-filled Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday for his first IndyCar victory.
The Frenchman finished 5.6 seconds in front of James Jakes in the second of two races on the 2.36-mile Belle Isle street course.
"It was an amazing car," Pagenaud said. "We had more horsepower than anybody else out there."
The reigning IndyCar Rookie of the Year hadn't finished better than second in 39 IndyCar and Champ Car races.
"I've been working for this my whole career," Pagenaud said. "It's freaking awesome."
Mike Conway, who won Saturday's race with just three cautions, finished third.
Scott Dixon was fourth, followed by Dario Franchitti and Marco Andretti, who pulled into a tie with Helio Castroneves for the IndyCar points lead.
AJ Allmendinger was in a pack of cars when he hit a wall on the opening lap, triggering the first of six cautions that stunted the first half of the race.
Side-by-side restarts, which IndyCar uses on its road and street courses as well as at Milwaukee and Iowa, seemed to lead to some of the wrecks on the tight track.
Will Power's shot to compete for a win ended when he was bumped from behind by Sebastien Bourdais. After Power got out of his car, he threw his gloves toward Bourdais.
"The safety worker was being very aggressive with me. I was like, 'Hey, I'm just trying to show the Frenchman my displeasure with him and that was it," Power said. "I wasn't going to do anything so I lazily threw my gloves at him."
Pagenaud's victory for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports was another one for the lesser-known IndyCar teams.
Six drivers have won seven races in the open-wheel series, and none of them are driving for Team Penske or Chip Ganassi Racing.