Simon Pagenaud outlasted Josef Newgarden and what was left of the 24-car field to win the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT.
It was the second IZOD IndyCar Series victory of the season for the driver of the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car. Newgarden, 22, the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion who crossed the start-finish line 4.1 seconds back in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, secured a career-best runner-up finish after starting a season-best fifth.
There were six full-course cautions, with almost every car sustaining some damage during the grueling 75 laps on the technically challenging 2.04-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit in downtown Baltimore.
The win moved the 29-year-old native of France into third in the standings with three races left.
With Verizon P1 Award winner Scott Dixon, who entered the race 39 points behind championship front-runner Helio Castroneves, exiting on Lap 53 because of contact on a restart, Castroneves gained ground in the title chase with a ninth-place finish. He's 49 points ahead after recording his 15th top-10 finish in the 16 races. Pagenaud has 431 points, followed by Andretti (430) and reigning series champion and 2012 Baltimore race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay (427).
Sebastien Bourdais, who started 22nd in the No. 7 Dragon Racing car and led 19 laps, finished third and Justin Wilson placed fourth for his fourth consecutive top 10. Simona De Silvestro marked her 25th birthday with a season-best fifth-place finish.
Also on Sept. 1, Sunoco Pole Award winner Jack Hawksworth led all 35 laps to win the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Baltimore.
The championship points chase tightened significantly with two races remaining as Carlos Munoz, the front-runner entered the race on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn street circuit made contact on Lap 6 and finished ninth.
Hawksworth, who entered the race 39 points behind, won his third street course race of the season in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car and returned to title contention.
"It was the perfect weekend for us from start to finish," he said. "We rolled off the truck, we were quick straight from the off. When it's like that it makes your life a lot easier."
Sage Karam recorded his seventh podium with the runner-up finish to seize the points lead with 373. Munoz, a three-time winner this season, is two points back and Gabby Chaves, who finished third, has 369 points. Hawksworth is fourth with 362 points and Peter Dempsey is still in contention with 338 points.
DAY 3 NOTEBOOK:
IZOD IndyCar Series officials announced the following teams will receive a 10-spot grid penalty for today's race for a violation of the engine sporting regulations:
#16 Jakes (Rule 15.1.4)
15.1.4. (More than five engines): Each Full-Season Entrant will be provided with no more than five fresh built Engines throughout each year covered by an engine service agreement. Using more than five fresh Engines in a season will result in a penalty. Engines beyond the fifth fresh Engine may be fresh or part-used.
IZOD IndyCar Series officials announced the following team will receive a 10-spot grid penalty for today's race for an unapproved engine change:
#10 Franchitti (Rule 15.5.1)
15.5.1 (Minimul mileage): 15.5.1. The minimum mileage threshold (Change-Out Mileage) is 1850 miles
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Sr., will drive the Fastest Seat in Sports during the parade laps of the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Unser, who ranks fourth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 39, was invited to drive the two-seat Indy car after fellow Indy 500 winners Mario Andretti and Arie Luyendyk could not make the event because of prior commitments.
AL UNSER: "It's good to see everybody. It's good to see old friends and see what's happened since I've been gone. It's remarkable. The changes with the car and engines I think it's all a plus. It's a fantastic series and I'm just glad to be here."
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE RACE SPECIFICS:
The race is 75 laps, 153 miles on the 12-turn, 2.04-mile road course.
The pit road speed limit is 50 mph.
Pole sitter Scott Dixon will grid drivers' right.
The green flag to start the race will be shown the third time by the start- line.
The E85 ethanol allotment for today's race is 65 gallons.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford will drive the Honda Civic si Safety Car.
There will be no tow-ins or returns from the garage within the final 15 minutes of the race.
#1 Hunter-Reay, #27 Hinchcliffe, #15 Rahal, #98 Filippi, #4 Servia, #25 Andretti, #78 De Silvestro #6 Saavedra, #18 S. Wilson, #7 Bourdais and #10 Franchitti will start on Firestone primary "black" tires. The other 15 drivers will start on Firestone alternate "red" tires.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE RACE RUNNING:
At 3:30 p.m., the ambient temperature was 85 degrees with a relative humidity of 58 percent and winds from the east at 6 mph. Skies were partly sunny. The track temperature was 122 degrees, according to Firestone engineers.
Estimated fuel window: 22 laps, but stops could occur from Lap 19-26
Lap 1: GREEN. #9 Dixon leads the field into Turn 1. #12 Power takes lead with a pass on the inside of Turn 3. #3 Castroneves has damage after making contact with #67 Newgarden on course in Turn 3. #1 Hunter-Reay is off the pace with electronics issue.
Lap 2: #3 Castroneves on pit road for new nosecone and fuel.
Lap 3: #12 Power leads #9 Dixon by .6939 of a second. #16 Jakes and #18 S. Wilson on pit road for four tires and fuel. #18 Wilson tried to leave without left rear-tire.
Lap 4: #14 Sato off the pace on track. Crew reports gearbox issue.
Lap 5: #12 Power leads #9 Dixon by 1.2404 seconds.
Lap 6: #16 Jakes pulls off course in Turn 1. Safety reports car had small fire on board.
Lap 7: #12 Power leads #9 Dixon by 1.6429 seconds.
Lap 9: #12 Power leads #9 Dixon by 1.5202 seconds.
This is the 12th race that #12 Will Power has led this season. Power has now led laps in each Baltimore race.
Lap 11: #12 Power leads #9 Dixon by 1.3978 seconds.
Lap 12: #20 Carpenter makes contacts with the tire barrier in Turn 5.
Lap 13: FULL COURSE YELLOW to assist #20 Carpenter. #98 Filippi off course in Turn 3 with smoke trailing from the car. #55 Vautier, #7 Bourdais, #19 J. Wilson, #6 Saavedra, #25 Andretti, #3 Castroneves, #5 Viso pit for four tires and fuel.
Lap 16: #5 Viso, #20 Carpenter on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 18: #3 Castroneves, #18 S. Wilson on pit road for fuel only.
Lap 19: #25 Andretti on pit road for fuel only. GREEN. #12 Power leads the field into Turn 1.
Lap 20: #77 Pagenaud passes #9 Dixon for second place in Turn 1.
Lap 21: #12 Power leads #77 Pagenaud by 1.0492 seconds. #67 Newgarden brushes the wall in Turn 12.
Lap 23: #12 Power leads #77 Pagenaud by 2.4721 seconds. #67 Newgarden has fallen to eighth after his wall brush. He was fourth at the time of the contact.
Lap 25: #67 Newgarden on pit road for four black tires and fuel. #12 Power leads #77 Pagenaud by 4.5854 seconds.
Lap 27: #12 Power leads #77 Pagenaud by 6.4436 seconds.
Lap 29: #77 Pagenaud, #1 Hunter-Reay, #4 Servia, #11 Kanaan, #78 De Silvestro on pit lane for four tires and fuel. #12 Power leads #9 Dixon 9.7760 seconds.
Lap 30: #27 Hinchcliffe, #15 Rahal, #83 Kimball on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 31: #9 Dixon pits from second for four tires and fuel.
Lap 32: Leader #12 Power on pit road for four tires and fuel. Car overshot its marks and ran over front airhose and rolled over airhose as team pushed it back resulting in a slow stop. New leader is #7 Bourdais.
Lap 33: #7 Bourdais leads #55 Vautier by 7.1628 seconds.
Lap 35: #7 Bourdais leads #55 Vautier by 9.6502 seconds. #12 Power is running seventh after his pit stop.
Lap 37: #7 Bourdais leads #55 Vautier by 10.0826 seconds.
Lap 40: Leader #7 Bourdais on pit road. New leader is #55 Vautier.
Lap 41: #55 Vautier leads #6 Saavedra by .7953 of a second. #18 S. Wilson makes contact with barrier in Turn 7. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Pits are open. The three leaders #55 Vautier, #6 Saavedra and #3 Castroneves are on pit road for four tires and fuel. #3 Castroneves misses his marks and has a slow stop. #83 Kimball, #1 Hunter-Reay, #25 Andretti and #19 J. Wilson. #7 Bourdais is the new leader under caution.
Lap 43: #1 Hunter-Reay has stopped on course in Turn 10.
Lap 45: #5 Viso, #25 Andretti, #20 Carpenter, #78 De Silvestro on pit lane for fuel.
Lap 47: #11 Kanaan on pit road for four red tires and fuel.
Lap 48: GREEN. #7 Bourdais leads the field into Turn 1. #15 Rahal spins #9 Dixon in Turn 1 and track is blocked. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Cars involved are: #15 Rahal ,#9 Dixon, #3 Castroneves, #67 Newgarden, #27 Hinchcliffe.
Prior to the incident, IZOD IndyCar Series officials penalized #3 Castroneves with a drive through penalty for a pit safety violation on his Lap 41 pit stop (hitting a crew member).
Lap 49: #3 Castroneves entered closed pit to replace nosecone in the Lap 48 incident.
Lap 50: #3 Castroneves, #77 Pagenaud, #19 J. Wilson, #27 Hinchcliffe, #67 Newgarden, 18 S. Wilson on pit road for four tires and fuel.
Lap 53: GREEN. #7 Bourdais leads the field into Turn 1. Behind, there is contact between #9 Dixon and #12 Power. #9 Dixon hits the wall with the right side and spins. #12 Power continues back to the pit lane. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Leader under caution is #15 Rahal who passed Bourdais entering Turn 1.
Lap 57: GREEN. #15 Rahal leads the field into Turn 1. #7 Bourdais spun in Turn 1 after contact from #4 Servia. Multiple cars are stopped on course with the track blockage. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Pits are open. #15 Rahal on pit lane for four red tires and fuel. #78 De Silvestro also on pit lane for four tires and fuel. New leader is #25 Andretti. Cars involved in the incident were: #7 Bourdais, #55 Vautier, #4 Servia, #6 Saavedra, #5 Viso, #83 Kimball and #78 De Silvestro.
Lap 60: GREEN. #25 Andretti leads the field into Turn 1.
IZOD IndyCar Series officials have penalized #12 Power and #4 Servia for avoidable contact in previous incidents.
Lap 62: #25 Andretti leads #77 Pagenaud by .1993 of a second.
Lap 63: Multiple car incident in Turn 3. FULL COURSE YELLOW. Pits are closed. Leader under yellow is #25 Andretti. Cars involved are: #19 J. Wilson, #27 Hinchcliffe, #4 Servia, #20 Carpenter, #15 Rahal, #7 Bourdais.
Lap 67: GREEN. #25 Andretti leads the field into Turn 1. #77 Pagenaud makes bid for the lead in Turn 1, but Andretti maintains the lead.
Lap 69: #77 Pagenaud takes the lead with a pass in Turn 1. #77 Pagenaud gets wide at Turn 7 and #7 Bourdais makes bid for the lead in Turn 8. They touch and Bourdais falls back. #25 Andretti and #67 Newgarden pass for second and third, respectively.
Lap 70: #67Newgarden takes second from #25 Andretti in Turn 1. #77 Pagenaud leads #67 Newgarden by 1.4251 seconds.
Lap 71: #77 Pagenaud leads #67 Newgarden by .9616 of a second.
Lap 72: #77 Pagenaud leads #67 Newgarden by 1.9736 seconds.
Lap 73: #77 Pagenaud leads #67 Newgarden by 2.9143 seconds.
Lap 74: WHITE: #77 Pagenaud leads #67 Newgarden by 1.9736 seconds. #11 Kanaan makes contact with the wall at Turn 12.
Lap 75: CHECKERED. #77 Simon Pagenaud wins the Grand Prix of Baltimore by 4.1592 seconds.
GRAND PRIX OF BALTIMORE POST-RACE NOTES:
Simon Pagenaud earned his second career Indy car victory. He won at Belle Isle 2 earlier this year
This is the second win for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsport in the IZOD IndyCar Series. It scored its first win with Pagenaud at Belle Isle 2 in June.
Josef Newgarden finished second, his career best finish and first podium finish.
Sebastien Bourdais finished third, his third career podium finish this season. He finished on the podium at both races at Toronto.
Justin Wilson finished fourth, his fifth top-five finish of the season.
Simona De Silvestro, who celebrated her 25 birthday today, finished fifth, her first top-five finish of 2013.
Helio Castroneves has finished in the top-10 at 15 of 16 races this season. His only finish outside of the top-10 was 13th at Sao Paulo.