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
Chevrolet
 
Chevrolet Details IndyCar Aero Kit Process
With three consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ championships to their credit, Chevrolet has invested a lot of additional resources to ensure it earns Number 4 at by the end of the season.
Read More
Sage Karam
 
Karam to Race in St. Petersburg
Sage Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, confirmed that he'll be on the grid for the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing GE LED Chevrolet.
Read More
2015 Chevrolet IndyCar Aero Kit
 
Chevrolet Unveils Aero Kit for 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Season
Chevrolet is prepared for the next bold step in manufacturer competition with the introduction of aerodynamic bodywork kits to the Verizon IndyCar Series, according to Jim Campbell, GM’s U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports.
Read More
James Jakes
 
Jakes Returns to IndyCar with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
James Jakes will join James Hinchcliffe for the 16-race season that opens March 27-29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Jakes, who has made 50 starts in the series, tested last week alongside Hinchcliffe at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Read More
Simon Pagenaud
 
Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Promises More Highlights in Second Running
With the second running of the Angie’s List Grand Prix right around the corner, the highlights from the first event should ensure this year’s race is another unforgettable stop on the Verizon IndyCar Series tour for fans and participants alike.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 211
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
Penske stars past and present on The Blog, including @12WillPower: http://t.co/9JxxmEcquC #Indy500
about 2 hours ago