From my (Jake Query) IMS Radio perch atop the Northeast Vista, I’ve seen ya. I’ve seen ya pulling names from a hat and the driver’s name you pull end up being your favorite for the next 500 miles.
So, for the 33 days leading up to the race, I figured I’d let ya know more about the PEOPLE in the cockpit or the people you may end up rooting for when you pull a name out of a hat. A couple things you might want to know about these drivers is…
- Who shares YOUR passion?
- Who likes YOUR favorite musician?
- Whose story strikes a chord that connects beyond the strip of paper you pulled from the hat?
Strap in. Ride along for 33 days of “Get to know”.
Simon Pagenaud – Meyer Shank Racing – Auto Nation Honda, Car #60
All You Need To Know About 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 10 for 10, 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.
Simon joined the show Kevin & Query from 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan last week. Listen to the full 17 minute interview below!