Simon Pagenaud has extended his lead in the IndyCar Series standings after notching up a third win in five races around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with yet another formidable performance.

The Frenchman, who is yet to finish lower than second position this year, led away comfortably from the start and seemed on course to reel off victory at a canter, only to have his race turned into turmoil by a caution period at the half-way point.

Shaking up the order as different pit strategies played out, Conor Daly was the unexpected beneficiary when he assumed the lead at the restart, but though he created a comfortable advantage under green conditions he ultimately lost out by completing his final stop out of sync with his rivals, re-emerging fourth in the shuffle.

Having slipped to third after the caution, Pagenaud's later stop over Helio Castroneves would see him leapfrog his team-mate to reclaim his lead, the Penske driver easing to the chequered flag to set him up nicely for the blue riband Indy 500 later this month, this year celebrating its centenary. The result places him 76 points clear in the standings.

With Castroneves completing a Penske 1-2, James Hinchcliffe notched up his first podium since returning to IndyCar from a long lay-off through injury, while Graham Rahal put in a superb performance to pick up fourth place having started at the back when he was excluded from qualifying for an underweight car.

Charlie Kimball completed the top five from the fading Daly, while Pagenaud's closest rivals in the standings - Scott Dixon and Juan Pablo Montoya - lost ground on the in-form Frenchman in seventh and eighth. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi completed the top ten positions.



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