Pagenaud “doesn’t care” about warning, increases points lead

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – Simon Pagenaud took his first win with Team Penske today in Long Beach, but wasn’t affected by the Official Warning assessed by INDYCAR following his exit from the pits.

In victory lane following Round 3 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, Pagenaud told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee he didn’t realize how close his No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet came to being too far to the left.

Given it was a game of inches, he thought he was OK.

“It was an inch on the race track there, so I’m good,” he said. “The left sides on the right side of the dots, which it is; so I’m good.”

He also said “I don’t care,” about whether the warning mattered.

Here was INDYCAR’s Statement on the penalty:

Simon Pagenaud’s actions during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach were deemed an infraction per Rule 7.10.1.1. “Lane Usage” of the INDYCAR Penalty Guidelines: Failing to follow designated procedures entering or exiting the pit area, including the proper use of the acceleration and deceleration lanes. The penalty for this infraction ranges from a warning (minimum), putting the driver to the back of the field (mid) and drive-through or stop and go/hold (maximum). INDYCAR race stewards determined his actions were not severe enough to warrant a harsher penalty than the warning that was issued.

Pagenaud did elaborate on the day, warning aside, as he finally broke through to win his first race for Team Penske.

“It is a relief, from your questions,” Pagenaud deadpanned to the room full of reporters.

As for the rest of the day?

“Great day. Fantastic team effort. Obviously we made an interesting call on the aerodynamic setup. Thank (engineer) Ben Bretzman for pushing me to it.

“Nobody mentioned it to me. I focused on the job. I didn’t know it was that close.

“INDYCAR has made it really clear what you can and can’t do. It was certainly on the verge of being a stronger penalty. I did get a warning. So did Munoz.”

In response to that, it was worth asking whether Pagenaud still found warnings acceptable – say if he wound up on the other side of the coin.

“They did the manual, and sent it to the drivers,” Pagenaud explained. “The drivers association and INDYCAR and the teams worked with INDYCAR to what was going to be a warning, a min penalty, a mid penalty. Each one of those levels has a different consequence.

“Going into the race, I know the rulebook, I know you can take risks, the limit. It’s just racing. Quite frankly, another inch to right wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the race.”

The win also bumps up Pagenaud’s points lead from four points (83-79) to 14 over Dixon (134 to 120). Pagenaud and the No. 22 Team Penske team are rolling, with two seconds and a first in three races.

Points are below:

PagLBpoints

Marvin Musquin to miss entire 2020 Supercross season

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On Friday, Marvin Musquin announced on Instagram he will miss the entire 2020 Supercross season with a knee injury.

The injury was sustained earlier this week in a practice crash at the KTM test track when he overjumped an obstacle and landed hard.

It’s “not the kind of news I’m excited to share with you guys,” Musquin wrote. “I was really happy to be back on the bike riding after being injured at the end of the Motocross season and starting to train for Supercross. Unfortunately, I had an incident at the KTM test track and ultimately over-jumped a jump that had a very big impact on my legs when I landed, injuring my left knee.”

I had it evaluated by several doctors and it was determined that my knee required surgery. It’s devastating news to me as I was really looking forward to racing Supercross, but I will take the time needed to recover properly with my main focus being to return when I am strong enough to win races.”

Last year, Musquin sustained another knee injury in November that threatened his 2019 Supercross season. He was able to ride in the Anaheim 1 event and finished in the top 10. Musquin improved throughout the season, winning two races and finishing third in the points after making a determined charge.

Musquin missed the 2011 and 2014 Supercross seasons with ACL injuries.

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Not the kind of news I’m excited to share with you guys… I was really happy to be back on the bike riding after being injured at the end of the Motocross season and starting to train for Supercross. Unfortunately, I had an incident at the KTM test track and ultimately over-jumped a jump that had a very big impact on my legs when I landed, injuring my left knee. I had it evaluated by several doctors and it was determined that my knee required surgery. It’s devastating news to me as I was really looking forward to racing Supercross, but I will take the time needed to recover properly with my main focus being to return when I am strong enough to win races. A big thanks to my team @ktmusa for supporting me in this tough time. I feel terribly sorry for them and all my sponsors for not being able to represent them on the track for the 2020 AMA SX season. But we will be back 👊🏼

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