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Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, Roger Penske honored at White House

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FORT WORTH, Texas – The next stop on Simon Pagenaud’s Indianapolis 500 Victory Tour will be the White House on Monday afternoon when the winner of the 103rd Indy 500 will be honored by President Donald Trump.

Trump called team owner Roger Penske and Pagenaud in Victory Lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after the driver from France won the Indy 500 on May 26. Trump invited both to the White House for a congratulatory visit, and that will take place Monday.

Pagenaud and Penske will lead a group of about 35 Team Penske crew members along with IndyCar CEO Mark Miles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles and Allison Melangton, the senior Vice president of events for Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Penske’s partner and sponsor, John Menard.

Pagenaud is the first Indianapolis 500 winner to be honored by a president of the United States since Sam Hornish, Jr. was honored by President George W. Bush in July 2006. Buddy Rice and Team Rahal were honored by President Bush in July 2004 with a ceremony in front of the White House Portico, followed by a tour of the Oval Office.

This will be Penske’s second trip to the White House to meet President Trump this year. Joey Logano and his NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series team were honored in a Rose Garden Ceremony by President Trump on April 30.

“We’re excited about that,” Penske told NBCSports.com Saturday night after Josef Newgarden won the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. “We’re taking the team to the White House and with the win in the Indy 500 with Simon Pagenaud and the president talking to him in victory lane, this caps it off for a great five or six weeks.

“The President called me in victory lane after the Indy 500 victory and said he wanted us to come as soon as we could. We put it all together and we are going on Monday.

“The Indianapolis 500 is an icon, worldwide, and to have the President of the United States recognize that, it’s pretty special.”

Team Penske president Tim Cindric was part of the Logano visit with President Trump in April. He is excited to get to go again.

“We might be on a first-name basis by now,” Cindric told NBCSports.com. “I got to talk to him about the hole-in-one that I made at Trump National in Charlotte.

“To go there twice with two different organizations and two different groups says something about the entire Penske Racing operation.”

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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