Simon Pagenaud wins IndyCar iRacing event at Twin Ring Motegi
VIRTUAL MOTEGI, Japan -- Simon Pagenaud won his second consecutive race in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, capturing Twin Ring Motegi by capitalizing after two Team Penske teammates had an incident with 10 laps remaining.
Will Power and Scott McLaughlin were racing hard for the lead with 10 laps remaining when they made contact with the lapped car of Oliver Askew.
Pagenaud swept into the lead and held off a furious charge by Scott Dixon, who finished a career-best second in the series. Power finished third, followed by Marcus Ericsson and Robert Wickens.
“It was a crazy race,” Pagenaud, who wore a firesuit again as in his win last week at Michigan International Speedway, told the IndyCar on NBC broadcast. “Very hectic with Will at one point and with Dixon at the end. I work hard all week to be competitive, and I think I’m catching up. I think I’m getting there.
“I’m having a lot of fun. It’s so stressful. You’re still lacking a lot of feedback. I’m relearning a way to race.”
WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reaction from Motegi
LET’S RACE TWO: IndyCar drivers like doubleheaders
The 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner said he is spending at least three to four hours a day on his simulator rig to hone his skills.
“That’s the only way you’re going to be competitive,” he said. “Everyone is such athletes and competitors. I want to put in the hours, and I believe hard work pays off.”
The top 10 was rounded out by Jack Harvey, Sage Karam, Zach Veach, Santino Ferrucci and Graham Rahal.
Two-time NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch finished 13th in his IndyCar iRacing debut after starting 25th.
There was one caution in the race, a pileup on Lap 5 that altered some strategies.
Penske’s Josef Newgarden attempted to stretch his fuel tank by nearly 10 laps but finally had to pit with 15 to go, which handed the lead to Power and set up the final twist.