News & Multimedia

Schmidt Peterson Teammates Post 1-2 Finish in Houston

Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin turned heartbreak in Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers into hugs in Victory Circle following an exhausting 90-lap battle in Race 2.

The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates finished 1-2 on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit in the second of three doubleheader events this season.

Jack Hawksworth, a Verizon IndyCar Series rookie like Aleshin, leaped from qualifying last to finish a season-high third. Charlie Kimball was fourth and Sebastien Bourdais, who overcame a broken front wing sustained in contact on Lap 49 with the car of Helio Castroneves, recovered to finish fifth.

It was the first 1-2 finish for the Indianapolis-based team co-owned by Ric Peterson and former Indy car drivers Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton.

"We thought we had the class of the field (in Race 1) but it didn't work out that way," team manager Rob Edwards said. "This is much better."

Pagenaud earned his first Verizon P1 Award for Race 1, but the Frenchman was relegated to a 16th-place finish after struggling with brake issues and contact on the rain-soaked track at NRG Park. Aleshin's Race 1 ended on Lap 33 after contact with Takuma Sato in Turn 6 after starting a then-best 10th. He started on the front row for Race 2.

“Awesome race. The car was just beautiful," said Pagenaud, who earned his second victory of the season. "That’s why I was so disappointed yesterday. We had such a fast car this weekend. We regrouped after Detroit (12th- and 22nd-place finishes) and they came up with this package."

Following the Lap 49 caution, Pagenaud found clear sailing through a Lap 63 pit stop and three more full-course cautions. Aleshin, who drove 40 laps on one set of Firestone primary tires and 18.5 gallons of E85, slid into second on the service stop.

All four full-season rookies posted podium results this weekend (Carlos Huertas winning and Carlos Munoz placing third in Race 1). Four different teams were represented in the top five.

Mikhail Aleshin“I can’t really explain my feeling. I just have so much emotion," said Aleshin, the first Verizon IndyCar Series driver from Russia. "We had a great qualifying today and had a great race. I had contact with Graham (Rahal) after his pit stop and at this moment I felt like, 'That’s it.' But I had a great strategy and had the same pace as the leaders. I was able to catch up and overtake some of them. Because of the strategy we were up there. And then can you image, in the end, I (was losing tire pressure). I was really lucky to finish, actually. The team did an amazing job. I don’t have enough English words to thank the team.”

Castroneves, the Verizon P1 Award winner, lost an opportunity to slice into Team Penske teammate Will Power's championship points advantage in the incident with Bourdais. The No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske was overtaken for the lead in Turn 3 by Pagenaud and then made contact with Bourdais' No. 11 Mistic KVSH Racing car on the high-speed run-up to Turn 6.

"I had no idea that he was there," said Castroneves, who tied Rick Mears for fourth all time with his 40th pole. "When I'm attacking I can't have eyes in the back of my head. I am upset because we had a great car and there were 40 laps to go and I wasn't panicking to get the lead back."

Castroneves led a field-high 47 laps to pick up two bonus points, but they were too few. Power, who made contact with a tire barrier on the white flag lap to fall from running third to finish 11th, takes a 39-point lead into the Pocono INDYCAR 500 fueled by Sunoco on July 6. That's the margin he enjoyed entering the Houston doubleheader. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished seventh and sixth on the weekend, closed to 41 points behind. Pagenaud is 59 points back in fourth.

Juan Pablo Montoya, who was runner-up to countryman Huertas in Race 1, was overtaken by Hunter-Reay for sixth and Ryan Briscoe gained seven positions to finish eighth. Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan completed the top 10.

"It feels good to come out of this doubleheader in Houston with a top-10 finish," said Briscoe, who secured his third consecutive top 10 and fifth of the season. "This series is just so competitive and it's a fight to the finish at every race."
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Schmidt Peterson Teammates Post 1-2 Finish in Houston
 
Schmidt Peterson Teammates Post 1-2 Finish in Houston
Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin turned heartbreak in Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers into hugs in Victory Circle following an exhausting 90-lap battle in Race 2.
Read More
Related Media
Ed Carpenter Porch Party
 
Carpenters Help Kick Off Statewide 'Porch Parties' to Celebrate 100th Indy 500
Verizon IndyCar Series team owner and driver Ed Carpenter and his wife, Heather, ushered in this monumental month of May with a 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500-themed porch party at their Indianapolis home.
Read More
Bowers & Wilkins Headphones
 
Bowers & Wilkins Introduces Limited-Edition 100th Running Of Indianapolis 500 Wireless Headphone
The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race never sounded so good! Iconic British loudspeaker brand Bowers & Wilkins is celebrating the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil with a limited-edition wireless headphone.
Read More
Colts Draft Party
 
Indianapolis Colts to Host Fourth and Fifth Round Draft Selections at IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hosting the Indianapolis Colts’ Official Draft Party for the fourth and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft. Come out to IMS from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, to witness the Colts’ selections. The event is free and there will be Colts player and cheerleader appearances. You will be able to watch live picks for the rounds made by Colts personalities and Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. There will be complete draft coverage along with fun activities and games from the Indianapolis Colts organization as well.
Read More
IMS Pylon
 
100th Running Host Committee Places Historic Pylon Panels Throughout Indy as part of 33-Day Countdown
Number panels from historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway scoring pylon will be showcased throughout the city to build anticipation for race weekend
Read More
IMS Mobile App
 
IMS Releases New and Improved Race Day Mobile App
With the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil just around the corner, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has released a new and improved IMS Mobile App.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 326
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
.@JeffVrabel tells the story on Wonder Bread, which essentially was born at the #Indy500. https://t.co/PG72loJnqf https://t.co/JSBpbFqbMf
about 2 hours ago