Palou steals Road America win as Newgarden suffers late race heartbreak

2 Mins read
Credit: NTT Indycar Series

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou remained patient and got his rewards as he took victory in the NTT Indycar Series, REV Group Grand Prix of Road America to take the championship lead away from Pato O’Ward.

The Spaniard made some bold moves to get up to second but he never looked likely to overtake long-time race leader Josef Newgarden, until the Team Penske Chevrolet went into emergency mode for the final two lap sprint following a late caution which ended the American’s hopes of victory.

Heartbreak for Newgarden, and Penske’s winless run continuing, was Palou’s gain as he is now 28 points clear of O’Ward in the championship.

Newgarden would eventually finish 21st, giving him a mountain to climb if he wants to earn a third championship title.

Colton Herta had a steady race but made moves when it mattered to take home second for Andretti Autosport while Penske did get a driver on the podium as Will Power redeemed himself after his Detroit nightmare.

Scott Dixon was stuck in the midfield for most of the race but as he always does, he and Ganassi found a way to make up places and finish fourth to keep building his points tally heading into the second half of the year.

Former Formula One drivers Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson were a solid fifth and sixth over the line, Ericsson especially did supremely well to recover from a caution-causing spin to ensure Ganassi had three cars in the top six.

Alexander Rossi finally had an incident-free run as he came home seventh ahead of Takuma Sato who made some big late race moves after a bold strategy call gave him much fresher tyres for the final sprint to the flag.

O’Ward was overtaken by Sato on the last lap so finished ninth for Arrow McLaren SP while Max Chilton gave Carlin their best run for a long time on a road course in tenth, benefitting from the same strategy gamble as Sato.

Dalton Kellett had big mechanical problems all race and never really got going while Kevin Magnussen, who led his first Indycar laps after staying out under a mid-race yellow, also had technical gremlins that caused him to retire.

The last caution was thrown after Ed Jones had a failure on his Dale Coyne Racing car and he failed to see the flag while Jimmie Johnson also had a spin but he made it to the end, albeit a lap down.

1Alex PalouChip Ganassi Racing55 Laps
2Colton HertaAndretti Autosport+1.910
3Will PowerTeam Penske+2.985
4Scott DixonChip Ganassi Racing+3.904
5Romain GrosjeanDale Coyne Racing+4.713
6Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi Racing+5.180
7Alexander RossiAndretti Autosport+7.721
8Takuma SatoRLL+7.914
9Pato O’WardArrow McLaren SP+9.024
10Max ChiltonCarlin+9.373
11Graham RahalRLL+9.802
12Oliver AskewEd Carpenter Racing+11.301
13Ryan Hunter-ReayAndretti Autosport+11.937
14Scott McLaughlinTeam Penske+12.193
15James HinchcliffeAndretti Autosport+13.947
16Sebastien BourdaisA.J Foyt Enterprises+14.116
17Jack HarveyMeyer Shank Racing+15.594
18Simon PagenaudTeam Penske+16.461
19Cody WareDale Coyne Racing+16.993
20Conor DalyEd Carpenter Racing+17.555
21Josef NewgardenTeam Penske+90.789
22Jimmie JohnsonChip Ganassi Racing+1 Lap
23Ed JonesDale Coyne RacingDNF (Damage)
24Kevin MagnussenArrow McLaren SPDNF (Mechanical)
25Dalton KellettA.J Foyt EnterprisesDNF (Mechanical)

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If it's got an engine, I've watched it race. F2 and F3 correspondent with a sprinkling of speedway here and there.
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