Simon Pagenaud has extended his lead in the 2016 IndyCar Series standings as he notched up a second straight win at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Frenchman, a winner last time out at Long Beach having finished second in each of the opening two rounds, enjoyed an almost perfect weekend in Alabama by leading almost each lap from pole position.

Even so, Pagenaud had some fortune to thank when a charging Graham Rahal passed on lap 82 of 90 with a controversial pass that involved contact, only for the American to then hit the lapped Jack Hawksworth shortly afterwards, damaging his wing and allowing Pagenaud back past.

From here, Pagenaud upped the pace to complete the sixth win of his IndyCar career, putting him 48 points clear of Scott Dixon in the overall standings after the Kiwi could only manage a tenth place finish following a turn one spin. Despite the collision, Pagenaud was full of praise for Rahal.

"In the end, Graham really caught up and he gave me a good piece of driving that was amazing from him," he said. "I put my hat off to him for that. He got me really excited ... after I went off track. I said, 'Yeah, I'm going to get that one back no matter what.' We had so much pace in the car that I could get back to him, and then it was about being aggressive."

Despite the damage, Rahal clung onto second place, with Josef Newgarden following up in third position, ahead of Penske duo Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya, the Colombian mounting an impressive comeback after starting dead last.

James Hinchcliffe, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and the recovering Dixon completed the top ten positions.



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