Pagenaud, who received the race from pole two years in the past, will roll off from 26th, the center of the ninth row on Sunday, but is simply three rows away from the quickest Penske-Chevrolet. However he says he has nearly as good a race setup as he had when he conquered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“Dissatisfied in qualifying pace; not there, we’re nonetheless attempting to grasp why that’s,” he stated, “however we turned the automotive over to the race bundle, and he or she’s a magnificence!
“I really feel simply as assured as I used to be in ’19, however I’m not beginning on pole so I’m going to must do it otherwise. Hopefully we will come again.
“We have been so extraordinarily proud of the chassis, whether or not it was qualifying or race tempo… We simply have to seek out our approach ahead.
“It’s a special aero bundle [than in ’19] so the drafting could be very totally different. If I discover myself in the identical place [as then] on the final lap, I in all probability received’t have the ability to maintain the lead, for instance as a result of the suction could be very sturdy for second place. Third place automotive will get fairly affected so it’s very troublesome to get a run on second place.
“So there’s numerous serious about the way you sort out the final 50 laps. To start with, it’s a special story for us now: we have now to crack the Prime 10 within the first 100 laps and discover our approach ahead. However clearly as you progress by way of the sphere, you’re up towards stronger vehicles, so it begins changing into increasingly more troublesome.
“I’ve one of the best pitcrew in pitlane – we’ve had the quickest stops since Barber [IndyCar’s season-opener] – so that provides me numerous hope. And technique? There’s no technique. We’re simply going to must go.”
Pagenaud has chosen the primary spot in pitlane and admitted that it’s robust coming off Flip 4, getting all the way down to the pitlane pace restrict after which instantly slotting into his pitbox in a exact method.
“It’s difficult, sure. First time I finished there, I finished approach too quick,” he grinned. “My mind didn’t have time to regulate to the pitspeed restrict… It’s so humorous, whenever you journey at so excessive pace, your eyes and your mind sluggish every little thing down, and you then get to 60mph and it feels such as you’re a turtle! Your depth notion modifications due to the pace, and whenever you’re far down pitlane, you’ve extra time to course of it.
“I’m extra involved about my 60[mph] to zero than I’m involved about slowing all the way down to 60. My braking level shouldn’t change due to the pitbox.”
Pagenaud, who since becoming a member of Penske in 2015 has most of the time discovered one of the best raceday setup of the group’s drivers, stated the decrease temperatures “will let you play the sport on downforce, which is admittedly good for racing.”
He went on: “Some individuals will take into consideration perhaps having much less downforce for pace, and a few individuals with take into consideration having extra for passing. And it’s going to rely on the chassis energy that you’ve got. We really feel very sturdy about our chassis, so perhaps we will run much less downforce. It’s in all probability a raffle I’ll take as a result of we have now to go ahead. In order that is perhaps a superb factor for us.”
Pagenaud concluded, “If it’s colder, you’re going to have a enjoyable race to look at.”