France's Pagenaud wins Houston Indy race
Simon Pagenaud of France, driver of the #77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Dallara Honda, sits in his car after his victory during the Verizon IndyCar Series Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race #2 at NRG Park on June 29, 2014 - by Scott Halleran
Britain's Jack Hawksworth, like Russia's Aleshin an IndyCar rookie, finished a season-high third place ahead of Charlie Kimball, with Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais overcoming a broken front wing to round out the top five.
Pagenaud had earned his first career IndyCar pole for Saturday's race one of the weekend set.
But he was relegated to a 16th-place finish after struggling with brake issues a brush with another vehicle on the rain-soaked track.
Aleshin's race on Saturday had ended on lap 33, but both drivers amply made up for those disappointments with their one-two finish Sunday on the 1.634-mile (2.63 Km), 10 turn temporary circuit.
"Awesome race," said Pagenaud, who earned his second victory of the season 7.2622 seconds ahead of Aleshin.
Brazil's Helio Castroneves lost a chance to trim Team Penske teammate Will Power's championship points advantage in his brush with Bourdais, which came as Castroneves was chasing Pagenaud who had overtaken him for the lead.
Castroneves started from pole and led 47 laps of the 90-lap race to pick up two bonus points.
"I had no idea that he was there," Castroneves said of making contact with Bourdais. "When I'm attacking I can't have eyes in the back of my head."
Power, who made contact with a tire barrier on the white flag lap to fall from running third to finish 11th, takes a 39-point lead into the next race on July 7 -- the same margin he held coming into this weekend.
In Saturday's race, IndyCar rookie Carlos Huertas led a Colombian sweep of the podium ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Munoz.