En garde: ‘Battle’ breaks out between Pagenaud, Newgarden — and now Hinchcliffe joins in

Makes you wonder what these two are plotting next (Photo: Getty Images)
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Just like on a racetrack, Simon Pagenaud has pulled ahead of teammate Josef Newgarden in their good-natured but also increasingly bold autograph battle.

Otherwise known on Twitter as: #IndyCarAutographBattle

Late Thursday night, Pagenaud snuck up to Newgarden’s house and signed his name on the frame of his teammate’s front door.

Advantage (for now): Pagenaud.

This came three days after Newgarden, also under the cover of darkness, left his autograph on a front brick of Pagenaud’s house after the pair returned from a trip to Indianapolis.

So the battle continues to heat up, although Pagenaud has had the last laugh for now, saying “Your move” as he ran away from Newgarden’s abode last night.

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Here’s the hilarious back story of the “feud” between the Team Penske drivers:

Newgarden and Pagenaud filmed a safety promotional video for the TSA Monday at the Indianapolis International Airport.

But Newgarden forgot his costume for the shoot – his firesuit and helmet. Just before he boarded his plane to meet up with Newgarden in Indy, Pagenaud was pressed into last-minute duty to also transport “King Josef’s” stuff.

So during a break in the filming, Pagenaud went into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gift shop at the airport and signed a few of his diecasts that were on sale. He also ribbed Newgarden for not having any signed items in the store.

Newgarden then upped the ante:

That included Newgarden signing a fan’s t-shirt:

That only added fuel to the fire, as Pagenaud then signed an official Indy car on display in the airport:

To which Newgarden retorted:

After that, they were good boys until they got back home to Charlotte.

That didn’t last long, though. Pagenaud lamented he again had to carry Newgarden’s firesuit and helmet back to Charlotte. Which set up the next element of the battle:

That only served to ratchet up the battle for the defending IndyCar champion, and it became very clear he just wasn’t going to let it drop with the guy who won the championship one year before him.

Ergo, Newgarden “signed” Pagenaud’s house.

But now, in light of Pagenaud’s retaliatory move last night, what will Newgarden’s next move be? It almost reminds us of:

Wait, there’s more.

James Hinchcliffe isn’t about to let Newgarden and Pagenaud have all the fun. He’s all-in to the autograph battle now, too:

To which Pagenaud tweeted to Hinchcliffe:

Keep up with the escalating battle by following (it’s only going to get better) on Twitter at:

#IndyCarAutographBattle

Follow @JerryBonkowski