The Indianapolis 500 isn’t called the Greatest Spectacle in Racing for no reason.
Fans from all around the world pour into Indianapolis to witness the event. Drivers from all walks of life dream of being able to compete on the track, and of the joy that comes from winning it. Few ever get to experience that feeling.
One of those who has felt the thrill of winning is Simon Pagenaud of Meyer Shank Racing, who was victorious during the 2019 running of the 500. Pagenaud truly exemplifies the reach that the 500 has around the world.
“I was already into racing when I heard of it.” he said, when asked about his first memories of the race during Wednesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV. “It was the year that Rick Mears was fighting with Michael Andretti…and since then it was a dream to see it, and then a dream to drive in it, and then a dream to win.”
Pagenaud also admitted to being superstitious when it relates to the race, but not at the expense of his confidence; in fact, when he won in 2019, he practically called his shot.
“The morning of the race I just felt something different. I told my wife bring Norman, our dog, to victory lane, and the French flag.” His wife questioned him, saying that he never said anything like that. “Yeah, because today I’m going to win.”
Speaking on his 2019 victory at IMS, Pagenaud described it as a perfect day in a perfect month.
“The pit stops were perfect, the strategy was perfect, the car was fast(er) than anyone, and my drive was probably one of my best drives ever.” he said.
Speaking of the upcoming race, Pagenaud was extremely confident in his chances, while also noting some similarities between this year and the year he won.
“I really like my odds. My racecar feels really, really good in traffic. I’m starting 22nd, which is the number I was racing when I won the race, and I’m in the 8th row, which was my first racing number, so I think my superstitions are really coming together here.”
Winning the 500 takes a combination of skill, hard work, and luck. To have a perfect day is incredibly rare, and often it’s whoever handles the obstacles best that takes the checkered flag at the end. For Simon Pagenaud, he can only hope to repeat his incredible 2019 victory and claim his 2nd ever victory at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing!
Listen to JMV’s full conversations with Simon Pagenaud below, check out the podcast for more interviews and conversations like this, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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