Simon Pagenaud, who drove to an impressive Verizon IndyCar Series championship last year, has been nominated for a 2017 ESPY Award in the Best Driver category. The annual ESPN awards show airs at 8 p.m. ET July 12 and will be hosted by retired NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
Pagenaud, driving for Team Penske, won five races and seven pole positions on his way to the 2016 title, including the resounding win in the season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, to clinch the championship. The native of Montmorillon, France, also led more races (12) and laps (406) than any driver, had the most top-five finishes (10) and tied for the most top-10 finishes (12).
The championship was the first in Pagenaud’s seven-year Indy car career. The 33-year-old sits second in this season’s title race, 13 points behind Scott Dixon after nine of 17 races.
Also nominated in the Best Driver category are NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr., Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton and NHRA drag racer Ron Capps.
Voting for the ESPYs Best Driver is available online at http://www.espn.com/espys/story/_/page/voting22/best-driver.