How Power won his first IndyCar race in two years

Even the Abu Dhabi Auto Racing League

The first IndyCar win in two years — at the helm of Penske's dominant 1-2-3 at Road America — propelled Will Power to the championship lead.

For much of the race, it looked like Power would be on the end of the podium behind teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin, before impressive laps around the final pit stops allowed him to jump them both.

NEWGARDEN survives terrible qualifying accident

Had Newgarden won, it would have been a remarkable recovery from the absolutely brutal qualifying crash in which he crashed into the wall at the scary Kink Corner with a truly disgusting crack after hitting a wet patch on the drying track and setting off at high speed. Late spin in six-pole fast shootout.

He walked away from that crash and Penske worked late to prepare his backup car to finish fifth on the grid – one place ahead of Power, who brought his Fast Six to a stop with a milder crash a few minutes later. previously.

Ganassi explosion follows the pole

A red flag for a Newgarden detour helped Ganassi rookie Linus Lundqvist secure pole position, an impressive result for a driver who has not started a championship round higher than 17th since joining the multi-title-winning team.

Ganassi mastered the changeable weather during qualifying and placed all five of its cars in the top 12 on the grid, including young guns Lundqvist and Marcus Armstrong in first and third.

That didn't last long when the race started. When Lundqvist fended off an outside attack from Andretti's fast-starting second rower Kyle Kirkwood, Armstrong tapped his teammate on the back and sent them both spinning in front of the pack.

Right behind, Newgarden did the same with Colton Herta. Officials felt this was an inevitable chain reaction of Ganassi tangling forward, but Herta was just as angry that Newgarden (unlike Armstrong) had not been penalized. Given his pace throughout the weekend, including times when he was two seconds quicker than everyone else during a wet run and a final rebound to sixth in an alternative strategy despite missing diffuser sections on an early trip over the hurdles and sending him spinning again in a crash Separate from Lundqvist, his frustration was understandable, especially since it had now been more than two years since he had won the race.

Ganassi was dealt another blow when its other rookie driver Kyffin Simpson – who qualified for an IndyCar-best 12th place – was violently shot into the wall by Ed Carpenter Racing driver Christian Rasmussen.

Newgarden's missed win

This brought out a third yellow in the chaotic opening laps, after which the race finally went right.

It quickly became a Penske show as early leader Kirkwood faded and McLaughlin, Newgarden and Power came to the fore.

All weekend, there were grim predictions about how fragile the softer red tire would be on the resurfaced track, a fact that was no less important for the driver when six-time champion Scott Dixon's race collapsed after a strong start as they took too much damage within six laps of the race. The middle period seems to be evidence of this.

Newgarden appeared to have made a winning move by holding on to McLaughlin while running the red tires in the first stint and running a long stint on them, leaving him on the more durable black tires for the rest of the race while knowing both McLaughlin and the Force still needed red in the future.

Sure enough, Newgarden passed McLaughlin as soon as the latter was in red and was comfortably clear of him after the final pit stops.

But Power also got a great life out of his red team when he ran them on his penultimate stint, staying out a lap longer than Newgarden and jumping straight into the lead, before rejecting Newgarden's attempted re-pass and pulling away to win by three seconds, with Newgarden doing so. He then did his best to express that he was a proud team player with the 1-2-3 for Penske and that he was very sad that he didn't stay out as long as Bauer when he could have and he made sure he was a “1” not a “2” in this Formation.

McLaughlin finished another five seconds behind Newgarden in third.

Champion Alex Palou took fourth for Ganassi, unable to match Penske's pace today but comfortable ahead of Kirkwood and a recovering Herta.

Romain Grosjean drove a fighting race from 14th on the grid to finish seventh, his best result to date for the new Juncos Hollinger team and a welcome piece of positive press for a team whose week was dominated by the fallout from the abuse directed at Theo Bourchier by aggrieved fans of the regular Juncos driver. Agustin Canapino after the Detroit accident. Canabino sat at Road America, where his replacement Nolan Siegel finished 23rd.

McLaren's best driver in eighth was Pato O'Ward, who lamented having to drive onto the grass to avoid the spinning cars at the start, and was stuck with an alternative strategy after that.


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