LEXINGTON, Ohio — Simon Pagenaud didn't take the lead for good until the 85th of 90 laps when Conor Daly pitted for fuel. But the Frenchman really won Sunday's IndyCar race on a restart on Lap 66.
Pagenaud outraced Team Penske teammate Will Power to move ahead of him for good and ended up beating the Australian by 4.16 seconds in the Honda Indy 200.
The pair nearly came together on the last of the 13 turns on the 2.2-mile at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after the race went back to green, but both escaped.
"We're battling for a race, we're battling for a championship," Pagenaud said.
Power said he knew he was going against a teammate.
"In the last turn, if I hadn't backed off we would have crashed," he said. "At that point I knew it was a teammate. (Team owner Roger Penske) would have been pretty mad if we had taken each other out."
Pagenaud has 484 points, 62 ahead of Power. It is all but a two-car title race as third-place Helio Castroneves, also a Penske driver, is 111 points behind Pagenaud with four races left.
The race was also notable for the IndyCar debut of New Port Richey's RC Enerson, who has been driving IndyCar feeder series for the past four years. Enerson, 19, who attended Gulf High, was 19th in the 22-car field in a Dale Coyne Racing Honda, a lap down. He lost a lap when his engine halted during a pit stop.
"We were really quick out there. The guys gave me a great car," Enerson said. "… A lot of excitement today, but also a little bit of disappointment because I know we had a good car and we could have done a lot better. But I'm pretty tired, my neck and my hands, so I have to work on that, but we'll keep pushing for it."
Formula One: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton surged ahead at the start of the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim and won, increasing his championship lead and denying teammate Nico Rosberg in Rosberg's home race. Hamilton, the two-time defending series champion, leads Rosberg by 19 points.
NHRA: John Force won in Funny Car at the Sonoma (Calif.) Nationals, extending his series record with his 145th career victory. J.R. Todd won in Top Fuel, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock and LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
East Bay Raceway: Phillip Cobb won the Limited Late Model main event late Saturday in Gibsonton.