The Frenchman was one of several drivers to gamble on fuel strategy, and made it stick for the final 29 laps Saturday to earn his third career IndyCar victory. He took the lead when Oriol Servia had to stop with four laps remaining, and Pagenaud managed to make it to the finish despite having to keep one eye on his mirrors.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was second and Helio Castroneves was third.
“Man I didn’t know what we were asking for, but we made fuel,” Pagenaud said. “The fuel saving was amazing.”
James Hinchcliffe was taken from the track on a stretcher and transported to a hospital with an unspecified injury. A replay appeared to show he had been hit by debris from a car in front of him following a restart.
The race began with a violent wreck when pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra stalled on the standing start. He was hit by multiple cars, and debris struck Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard as he waved the green flag. Ballard was treated at the scene for scrapes and bruising, and did not require stitches.
FORMULA ONE: In Montmelo, Spain, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were in a class of their own again in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel stalled and was demoted on the grid.
Hamilton edged teammate – and main rival – Nico Rosberg with a late lap of 1 minute, 25.232 seconds for his fourth pole of the season.