Indy 500 Champion Simon Pagenaud says fitness keeps him from going stir-crazy as he stays at home

Indy 500 Champion Simon Pagenaud says fitness keeps him from going stir-crazy as he stays at home

Quarantine Routine is a regular feature that asks political, business, sports and entertainment power brokers how their daily lives have changed — and how they’re still doing their jobs — during the coronavirus crisis.

2019 Indy 500 Champion Simon Pagenaud is having a pretty good season, all things considered.

The Team Penske driver has won two of the four virtual IndyCar iRacing Challenge series events that have been held so far this year to keep fans entertained while real racing is suspended due to the coronavirus.

He’s also featured in the new Quibi show “Iron Sharpens Iron” that was filmed before the pandemic and pairs world-class athletes from different disciplines as they share their training routines with each other. In it, Pagenaud shows pro skateboarder Nyjah Huston how to go really fast on four wheels in a Corvette.

The IndyCar series won’t be back on track until at least June 6, and the Frenchman will have to wait until Aug. 23 to defend his Indy 500 title, after that race was postponed from its traditional Memorial Day weekend slot.

In the meantime, he has been staying put at his Charlotte, N.C., home, and tells Fox News Autos that working out has been helping him through the crisis.

Fox News: How has your daily routine changed since social distancing measures began?

Simon Pagenaud: I got all the equipment to train at home instead of going to the gym. So I train at home every morning about three hours. Around lunchtime, I answer questions from (the) media as we have had a lot of requests and we work with my PR team on social media ideas to keep our fans entertained. In the afternoon, I train on my home simulator to keep sharp. My routine hasn’t changed too much except for a lot less traveling and not being able to go to the restaurant. A lot more home time and a lot less travel.

Fox News: What are the biggest challenges in doing your job during this crisis?

Pagenaud: Well we don’t get to race in real life anymore. I have raced and traveled every weekend since I was 10 years old. Instead, now we virtual race on iRacing. I do get my adrenaline rush but I don’t get my fix for speed.

Fox News: What do you miss the most about how you did your job before this began?

Pagenaud: I miss not being able to feed off people’s energy at the racetrack and also at the gym.  I miss the smell of fuel and the excitement to go racing!  I miss competition and lining up for qualifying every Saturday! I also miss my crew they are the best in the business and I love that team spirit feel.

Fox News: What surprised you most about how life has changed?

Pagenaud: Well, I’m a very philosophical person and I strive by being positive. There is always positive to find in every situation and right now I feel like this may allow us to reconnect with our loved ones, go back to more simpler ways.

Fox News: How do you blow off steam?

Pagenaud: Fitness!! If I didn’t train and push my limit away every day I would go stir-crazy!


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