Josef Newgarden took control of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with a third win in four races at Gateway Motorsports Park, although he did so in circumstances that angered his Team Penske team-mate Simon Pagenaud.
Newgarden had jumped into the lead at the start, which had already been delayed when Tony Kanaan spun into the wall before the green flag fell, when he swept around the outside of polesitter Will Power into turn one.
Unfortunately for Power, his race was over mere metres later when he spun into the wall, where he was then collected by Ed Carpenter after he and Takuma Sato clashed whilst trying to avoid the spin.
On the restart, Newgarden retained the lead from team-mates Helio Castroneves and Pagenaud, and was in control of the race until a slow pit stop relegated him behind Castroneves, only for a pit stop issue for the Brazilian relegated him down to fourth later on.
Pagenaud assumed the lead at the last round of pit stops, emerging just in front of Newgarden as they pitted during a caution period, but the move that angered the Frenchman came with thirty laps remaining, with the American banging wheels heading into turn one to resume his position at the front of the field.
Pagenaud found himself losing momentum as he went the long way around the turn, and as a result he fell to third behind Scott Dixon, who managed to maintain second position for Chip Ganassi Racing despite Penske having the faster car all weekend at Gateway.
Castroneves finished fourth, with the Brazilian withstanding late race pressure from Conor Daly, who enjoyed his strongest race of the season for AJ Foyt Racing with fifth place, ahead of Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi.
Charlie Kimball was seventh ahead of James Hinchcliffe, while Carlos Muñoz was ninth ahead of series returnee Sebastien Bourdais, who finished on the lead lap in tenth in his first race since his horror crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 in May.
Sebastian Saavedra was eleventh on his final Schmidt Peterson Motorsport outing of the season before handing over the #7 car to Jack Harvey for the final two rounds, while Graham Rahal was twelfth after a pit lane penalty, while Ed Jones and Marco Andretti were the final finishers in thirteenth and fourteenth.
As well as Power, Carpenter and Sato crashing out on the first racing lap, JR Hildebrand, Max Chilton and Ryan Hunter-Reay all ended their days with hits against the wall, while Kanaan retired from the race while two laps down with a mechanical issue.
But no one had anything for Newgarden, who despite the risky move on his team-mate was a deserving winner, leading 170 of the 248 laps, and he now sits thirty-one points clear of Dixon in the championship with just two races remaining.
Gateway Motorsports Park Race Result
|1||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||2:13:22.0358s|
|2||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||+0.6850s|
|3||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||+0.9743s|
|4||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||+1.5668s|
|5||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+1.7446s|
|6||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||+2.9101s|
|7||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||+4.2365s|
|8||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+4.8498s|
|9||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+7.8832s|
|10||18||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing||+8.1831s|
|11||7||Sebastian Saavedra||COL||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+8.6604s|
|12||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+8.8457s|
|13||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||+12.3444s|
|14||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||+19.8702s|
|RET||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||Retired|
|RET||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||Retired|
|RET||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||Retired|
|RET||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||Retired|
|RET||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||Retired|
|RET||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||Retired|
|RET||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||Retired|