Sports

Pagenaud keeps focus on racing as defending champ's schedule makes life busy away from track

  • Simon Pagenaud, of France, makes a phone call before practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Simon Pagenaud, of France, makes a phone call before practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)  (The Associated Press)

  • Simon Pagenaud, of France, drives through a turn during practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 7, 2015.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Simon Pagenaud, of France, drives through a turn during practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

  • Simon Pagenaud, of France, drives through a turn during practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 7, 2015.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Simon Pagenaud, of France, drives through a turn during practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

Simon Pagenaud was eager to start driving Thursday.

After spending most of this week in Indianapolis filling media requests and doing sponsorship appearances, the defending champion of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis can finally focus on racing with Team Penske.

Pagenaud had the sixth-fastest lap in Thursday's practice, completing the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in 1 minute, 10.9527 seconds.

Chevrolet dominated the practice charts, taking the top six spots.

Target Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon led the field with a 1:10.6971. Penske teammates Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya were second and third at 1:10.8118 and 1:10.856. Sebastien Bourdais of KVSH Racing was fourth at 1:10.8839 and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves was fifth at 1:10.929.