Simon Pagenaud won the 2013 Grand Prix of Baltimore on a day that truly tested the resolve of every driver on the track.
The win helped the Frenchman move into third place in the IZOD IndyCar Standings. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Scott Dixon, both ahead of him heading into Sunday, did not finish the race after colliding following a restart on Lap 50.
While it wasn't pretty, the Maryland track provided a downright exciting afternoon of racing. There was a high attrition rate and plenty of stoppages, but the final 10 laps were as thrilling of a conclusion as they come.
Here's a look at the top 10 finishers from the race:
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The leaderboard after 10 laps was highlighted by Will Power, who has now led laps in each Baltimore race.
This is the 12th race that #12 Will Power has led this season. Power has now led laps in each Baltimore race.— INDYCAR PR (@INDYCARPR) September 1, 2013
After a restart on Lap 19, Pagenaud made a move on Turn 1 and settled into second place, but Dixon remained right on his heels.
As of that restart, the top 10 cars all remained pit-less.
Power then used the restart to build on his lead. After holding a nearly three-second advantage when the green flag flew, he distanced himself to a four-plus-second lead.
Lap 25: #67 Newgarden on pit road for four black tires and fuel. #12 Power leads #77 Pagenaud by 4.5854 seconds. #GPoB— INDYCAR PR (@INDYCARPR) September 1, 2013
Finally, the leaders all decided to pit on Lap 29. Poor stops from both Pagenaud and Power let Dixon and American Graham Rahal back into the mix. Power came out of the pit late in seventh place after running over an air hose.
Dixon raised some controversy following the stop, accusing rival Power of blocking over his radio, according to NBC Sports’ Tony DiZinno:
At the halfway point, Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais held a nine-second advantage with countryman Tristan Vautier the closest behind.
That momentary lead wouldn’t last long. Bourdais’ pit 23 laps earlier forced a stop on Lap 40, but his team aced it and he came out ahead of Power in fifth place after a 7.9-second stop. Vautier, who also pit with Bourdais, kept on the track and moved into the top spot.
Vautier did pit soon after, though, when Stefan Wilson’s contact with a barrier in Turn 7 forced a yellow. With a quick turnaround out of pit road, Bourdais was able to slide back into the lead.
During the caution, defending champion and IndyCar contender Ryan Hunter-Reay stalled out on Turn 10 of Lap 43.
Lap 43: #1 Hunter-Reay has stopped on course in Turn 10 under the caution. Leaders are: Bourdais, Power, Dixon, Saavedra and Dixon. #GPoB— INDYCAR PR (@INDYCARPR) September 1, 2013
That ended his day disappointingly and put a hamper on his hopes for making ground on the point leaders.
Crew for Hunter-Reay is reporting the battery is dead on the car. It will be towed back to pit lane. #GPoB— INDYCAR PR (@INDYCARPR) September 1, 2013
Shortly after a restart on Lap 48, Rahal and Dixon made contact resulting in Turn 1 being completely blocked. That resulted in another momentary caution. It also prompted a review:
Incident between Rahal and Dixon on previous restart was reviewed. No action taken. #GPoB— INDYCAR PR (@INDYCARPR) September 1, 2013
The leaders on Lap 50 remained Bourdais, Rahal, Power, Oriol Servia and Dixon while awaiting the restart. Once they got going again, though, they weren't green for very long.
GREEN: #7 Bourdais leads the field into Turn 1. Behind, there is contact between #9 Dixon and #12 Power. Full Course Yellow. Leader is Rahal— INDYCAR PR (@INDYCARPR) September 1, 2013
Power attempted to make a move on Bourdais along the wall, but he didn't see Dixon emerging behind him. He clipped the front of his rival's car and then ran into the wall. Dixon spun out and his car was towed off of the course, and Power was sent to the pits for repairs.
Another caution proceeded the ensuing green after Bourdais spun out, causing another traffic jam on Turn 1.
DiZinno mused at the surprising top 10 at that point in the race:
From there, Marco Andretti had enough fuel on board to make it to the finish, but he was driving with a damaged front wing that flew off after the restart. It's really hard to make this stuff up, so you know it was an unusual but eventful day in Baltimore.
Another caution with 12 laps to go after an incident in Turn 3 caused a massive tangling of cars.
The ensuing restart would be the last of the day.
Pagenaud overtook Andretti with nine laps to race and held off Newgarden and Bourdais to capture his second win of the season.