Get To Know: Simon Pagenaud
Perhaps it’s fitting that “S7Ven” and “Grand Prix” are Simon Pagenaud’s favorite films. After all, it was in his 7th “Indianapolis 500” the Frenchman set a record in the World’s most famous race.
Seven starts. Seven times running at the end of the race. Clean as a whistle through 1400 laps. He’d tied Howdy Holmes once he’d gone 6 for 6, and in 2018 Pagenaud stood alone in the record books.
The record could still fall, of course- he’s extended his mark to a perfect 11 for 11, but his spot in Indy history is secure.
It was cemented in 2019 when Pagenaud swept the month- taking pole and the checkers for the 104th “Indianapolis 500”. It capped a month that opened when he won the- you guessed it- “Grand Prix” on the IMS road course.
It was destiny for the personable Pagenaud to put both races in the bag.
That was his first job, ya see. There in his small, quaint home town of Montmorillon in Central France, Simon was bagging groceries at his Father’s supermarket. Eventually, he convinced his Dad to sell video games in the store, largely influenced by the popularity of the game “Resident Evil.”
His Dad, a gaming novice, agreed, but needed a right hand man.
That’s how it happened. Simon Pagenaud. 12 year old manager of the E.Leclerc gaming department.
It just part of an idyllic childhood in his rural community 4 hours south of Paris. He first sat in a car at the age of 3, and when his Dad’s car enthusiasm put 8 year old Pagenud in the driver’s seat, none of the 6,000 residents of Montmorillon said a word.
He went to business school, but in the end that racing bug won out. Pagenaud began running French Formula Renaults in 2002, came to the States 5 years later, and, with 2 more completed Indy 500s, will
have turned more miles at IMS than there are people in his hometown.
Married to Hailey, Pagenaud now calls North Carolina home. He hopes his dog Norman protects them from snakes that may have found their way from the Appalachians. The reptiles, he says, are his only fear.
In 2021 Simon and Hailey welcomed their 1st son, Marley.
His favorite musician carries that as his sir name.
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