Power returns to victory lane as engine failure sidelines points leader Palou

IndyCar

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Will Power put a rough weekend of racing on the streets of Nashville behind him with a dominant victory in the IndyCar Series’ mid-summer return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Power started the race in second place, doing the first stint on the harder primary compound tyres, behind polesitter Patricio O’Ward, who started on the alternate compound rubber. After the first round of routine pit stops, Power took the net lead of the race from O’Ward on lap 17, and continued to pull out a margin – at one point leading by nearly ten seconds. He then found himself stuck behind James Hinchcliffe, which allowed Colton Herta and Romain Grosjean to close in by the final round of pit stops.

With seventeen laps remaining, championship leader Álex Palou’s engine failed while the Spaniard was running in fourth place – a moment that had huge championship implications – which brought out the first yellow flag of the race. When the race restarted, Grosjean dived past Herta for second position into turn one. Rinus VeeKay, the winner at the IMS road course back in May, spun at turn seven to bring out the second caution, and set up a restart with six laps remaining.

Power was able to maintain his lead after both restarts, and Grosjean had run out of push to pass well before the final restart – which paved the way for Power to take his first win of the season, leading 56 out of 85 laps. Grosjean matched his best career finish of his IndyCar career in second, and Herta bounced back admirably from his late crash in Nashville by finishing third.

Alexander Rossi finished in fourth for his best finish of the season, ahead of O’Ward in fifth. Jack Harvey scored his best finish since St. Petersburg in sixth. Graham Rahal gained nine positions to finish seventh, while Josef Newgarden gained twelve positions en route to an eighth place finish – Marcus Ericsson, and Takuma Sato, completed the top ten. Alpine Academy driver prospect Christian Lundgaard finished twelfth in his IndyCar debut, while Scott Dixon could only fight his way up to sixteenth place after starting 26th.

Palou’s retirement means that he now leads O’Ward by just 21 points with four races left in the season. Dixon is now third place, 34 points behind, with Newgarden and Ericsson closing to within 55 and 62 points of the championship lead, respectively.

This is Power’s fifth win on the IMS road course, and the 40th win of his career – moving him ahead of Al Unser Jnr for fourth on IndyCar’s all-time wins list. In addition, Power maintains his streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons, which dates back to the 2007 Champ Car World Series.

Next week, the IndyCar Series ventures to Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis, Missouri, for the final oval race of the season.

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Race result

PositionCarDriverTeamEngine
112Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
251Romain GrosjeanCoyne/RWRHonda
326Colton HertaAndrettiHonda
427Alexander RossiAndrettiHonda
55Patricio O’WardMcLaren SPChevrolet
660Jack HarveyMeyer ShankHonda
715Graham RahalRLLHonda
82Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
98Marcus EricssonGanassiHonda
1030Takuma SatoRLLHonda
1120Conor DalyCarpenterChevrolet
1245Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
137Felix RosenqvistMcLaren SPChevrolet
1418Ed JonesCoyne/VasserHonda
1514Sebastien BourdaisFoytChevrolet
1622Simon PagenaudPenskeChevrolet
179Scott DixonGanassiHonda
1828Ryan Hunter-ReayAndrettiHonda
1948Jimmie JohnsonGanassiHonda
2059Max ChiltonCarlinChevrolet
216Helio CastronevesMeyer ShankHonda
2229James HinchcliffeAndretti SteinbrennerHonda
233Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
2421Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
2552Cody WareCoyne/RWRHonda
264Dalton KellettFoytChevrolet
2710Alex PalouGanassiHonda
2875RC EnersonTop GunChevrolet

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Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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  • 5 comments on “Power returns to victory lane as engine failure sidelines points leader Palou”

    1. Yawn….. I guess Penske should introduce new tracks every weekend because that one was over pretty much after the first pitstops.

    2. Lundgaard in P12. And it’s just the beginning, more is coming.

    3. Cancelled my long time subscription here until spoiler tags become a thing

    4. The last two rounds showcase what is great about IndyCar. One week you have a caution-filled race around a tight street circuit, with strategic thinking and a bit of luck the most important factors (as well as keeping it out of the wall, of course). Then the next you have a more conventional race on a road course, with tyre management and all-out pace more significant in picking a winner.

      Both races might have had their critics for different reasons, but it is the variety that makes the series so entertaining. Next week’s oval race promises something different again.

      1. @red-andy Well said. And it’s going to be interesting to see how RG does on his first oval. I’ve been enjoying watching how he is doing and by all accounts he is having a blast in Indycar and it shows.

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