Pagenaud featured on next "INDYCAR 36"
Filming the latest "INDYCAR 36" during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio event earlier this month was a collaborative effort between the featured driver, Simon Pagenaud, and the IMS Productions crew.
"I allowed them to see everything apart from the shower, but they did ask," joked Pagenaud, who put an exclamation point on the race weekend with a third-place finish.
"INDYCAR 36" airs at 7 p.m. (ET) Aug. 25 following NBC Sports Network's coverage of the Brasil IT+ Pole Day qualifying for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. The network will broadcast the 85-lap race on the 2.31-mile, 12-turn road course at 4:30 p.m. (ET) Aug. 26.
"Racing could be a lot more open to people so they could see what it's all about," he said. "It's really a team sport and there's a lot of preparation. It's not jumping in the car and driving it. It's important to have a good team spirit and it takes a lot of time and involvement with the driver.
"This was a great opportunity to show how much mental preparation the driver has to do. Also, I get a massage, my nutrition, how I get ready, the moments of highs and downs because there are a lot of both during the race week.
"I just thought it was a cool way to share in the weekend for the people who were not there. They have the opportunity to see the fun behind the scenes because we actually have a lot of fun as well. At the end of the day you have to enjoy your life even though you have pressure to perform."
Pagenaud, driver of the Honda-powered No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car, can wrap up the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award with an eighth-place finish at Sonoma. He has five top-five finishes, with a best of second at Long Beach, in 12 races.
Also interviewed were co-owners Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton, as well as general manager Rob Edwards, engineer Ben Bretzman and Honda Performance Development technical director Roger Griffiths.
"What most surprised me about the team is their combination of top-flight professionalism but also laid-back, open and welcoming nature," producer Sean Belby said. "The team is extremely competitive, but at the same time confident enough in themselves and their ability to be open and honest with our crew about nearly every aspect of their workings.
"Besides the fact that he enjoys sleep and coffee nearly as much as racing, fans will learn that Simon is extremely honest and introspective … always with an eye toward self-improvement."