LONG POND, PA – Over the course of his Verizon IndyCar Series career, KVSH driver Sebastien Bourdais was never really known for his oval skills. 30 of Bourdais’ 35 career IndyCar victories have come on road/street courses as Bourdais has just one win on an oval over the last decade. But, in 2016, ovals have been Bourdais’ strong suit, as he nabbed his fourth straight top 10 finish on Monday in as many starts on ovals this year.
The Frenchman started 18th, but he had a great race setup as he drove through the field with ease. He did what he had to do today with hanging around the top 10 all day and capitalizing on a great pit call on the final pit sequence.
Bourdais’ strategist called for fuel only on his final stop under caution, and that propelled him into second place on the Lap 179 restart. Bourdais would hang on for the final 21 laps on old tires and cruise to a fifth place finish in his No. 11 Chevrolet in Monday’s rain delayed ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway.
It was Bourdais’ 68th career top five finish but just his second on the season. If not for a crash at Mid-Ohio in the closing stages in the last race, Bourdais would now have seven top 10’s in his last 10 starts.
With an oval this upcoming weekend, it’s a safe bet to think Bourdais can nab another top 10 on Saturday night in Texas. His oval finishes this year are an eighth in Phoenix, a ninth in the Indy 500, eighth at Iowa and now fifth at Pocono.
Not bad for a driver that doesn’t consider himself a very good oval racer.