Pagenaud outduels Power for IndyCar win at Mid Ohio

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FORT WORTH, TX - JUNE 12: Simon Pagenaud of France, driver of the #22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 12, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedways)

Will Power has slowly been creeping up on Simon Pagenaud for the IndyCar series points lead, but Sunday at Mid Ohio, it was Pagenaud passing Power off a late restart to seal the win, the first of his career on the two-and-a-quarter mile road course.

“Whew, that was a race there,” exclaimed Pagenaud after the win. “That was fun. It was an awesome battle with Will there. I knew that was my chance on that restart, it was time to go. It was a pretty interesting lap, fun driving like that. That’s racing. It was fair, it was clean, it was hard racing and I’m just glad I won, really.”

“I was sleeping on that restart and I regret that,” said Power. “I should have been on it, then I got marbles on the tires. It was a good, clean battle. It was tough but it sucked finishing second, all the effort you put into that race. But Simon did a bloody good job and it’s turning into a pretty good battle.”

With four races to go in the season, Pagenaud holds a 58 point lead on Power in the points standings. The duo is starting to run away from third place Helio Castroneves, now 53 points back of Power.

“(Simon and Will) are probably on their way to a good battle for the championship, but we will keep focused,” said Castroneves.

Pagenaud overcame a sore back, bothering him since Friday, to pull out his fourth win of the 2016 season.

“I can’t feel anything right now so it’s all good,” Pagenaud smiled. “My back was fine all race, thanks to INDYCAR Medical.”

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