Detroit IndyCar: Ericsson scores first win, Power robbed

Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s Marcus Ericsson became the fourth new winner in IndyCar this year, after longtime leader Will Power’s ECU cooked when the race went under its second red flag.

Poleman Pato O’Ward held off Alex Rossi at the start, with Romain Grosjean taking third ahead of Dale Coyne Racing teammate Ed Jones and Colton Herta’s Andretti Autosport-Honda. On the long run to Turn 3, Power passed his Penske teammate Josef Newgarden for sixth, while Simon Pagenaud took eighth from Ryan Hunter-Reay right behind them.

Hunter-Reay, Scott McLaughlin and Rinus VeeKay pitted after just two laps to change onto the harder primary Firestones, but McLaughlin’s stop was long, with a slow right-rear change.

A lap later, O’Ward also pitted, handing a 2.5sec lead to Rossi over Grosjean, while Herta and Newgarden did the same at the end of Lap 4. They emerged together, and as Newgarden tried to defend his spot, he slapped a wall with his left-rear tire, which eventually flew off as he came into pitlane. Hunter-Reay had done the same and had to return to the pits.

Rossi pitted on Lap 6, Grosjean on Lap 7, handing the lead to Jones, but only momentarily as Power passed the other DCR car on Lap 7, soon to be followed through by Takuma Sato – up from 16th! – and Scott Dixon, who had started his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda on the primary compound and had surged forward.

Power had pulled a 1.6sec lead on Sato when Dixon dived past the RLLR-Honda at Turn 1 on Lap 11 and immediately the six-time champ started closing Power down, as the Penske leader’s reds started wilting too. The pass came on Lap 12.

Behind Sato ran Jones heading a line that contained Felix Rosenqvist in the second Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet that had started on new reds, James Hinchcliffe who had started on primaries, Pagenaud and Marcus Ericsson. Jones, struggling to keep his reds alive fell to eighth.

And then ninth, as Rossi – who had made superb progress since putting on primaries, including passing O’Ward – dismissed Jones and homed in on Santino Ferrucci (RLL).

Jones stopped on Lap 16, but Power, Sato and Rosenqvist stayed out despite falling 10sec behind Dixon. Sato and Rosenqvist pitted at the end of Lap 18. Ericsson stopped on Lap 20 to get onto primaries, Power did the same on Lap 21, with an 11sec deficit to Dixon and rejoined 13th.

At the same time, Grosjean made his second stop for primaries, and Max Chilton pulled his Carlin car to pit road with a flat left-rear, and a lap later Pagenaud made his first tsotp

The order on Lap 22 of the 70 lap race was Dixon and Hinchcliffe 11sec apart on primaries up front, with Ferrucci in third, making his alternates last highly impressively, but with Rossi, Graham Rahal, O’Ward, Herta stacked up behind him.

On Lap 24, the full-course caution came out for a huge shunt for Rosenqvist at Turn 6, when it appeared his throttle stuck open on the exit of Turn 6, striking the tire-wall so hard and on an upward trajectory that it pushed back the concrete wall, toppling part of it.

The car was left resting nose-up at 45degrees, as the front was propped up by tires, which complicated the extrication procedure. The race was halted at the end of Lap 27, and the other cars trickled to pitlane.

Some 75mins later, following extensive wall, fence and tire barrier repairs at Turn 6, engines were fired up again.

Cars who had not pitted in the first segment of the races – Dixon, Hinchcliffe, Ferrucci, Rahal and Palou – and those who had pitted close to the start of the race – including Rossi, O’Ward, and Herta – would also have to stop urgently, and under yellow before the restart,

That left the running order at the front – Power, Ericsson, Sato, Pagenaud, VeeKay, Jones, Jack Harvey, Grosjean, Conor Daly and McLaughlin. Dixon emerged from his stop in 11th on new reds ahead of Rahal, O’Ward, Rossi, Ferrucci, Herta, Palou and Bourdais. Only Dixon and Palou had switched to alternate compound tires. Rahal who had also started on blacks, opted to run his second stint on blacks too.

Power held onto a slide at the restart to fend off Ericsson and Sato, but Pagenaud lost out to both VeeKay and Jones, while Grosjean demoted Harvey, as did Dixon who sliced forward and also passed Pagenaud on Lap 34, working his fresh reds hard.

Up front, Power couldn’t get away from Ericsson, and Sato was ordered by Race Control to allow VeeKay through after blocking the Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevy.

Dixon’s charge stalled at sixth place, and now had not Pagenaud but O’Ward filling his mirrors, as he wrestled with fading red tires. The Arrow McLaren SP dived through at Turn 1 on Lap 40, and immediately pulled away. Further back, Rossi moved past teammate Herta to take 11th, a lap later he got Harvey and then moved onto the tail of the fading Dixon, who had been passed and left behind by Pagenaud.

Dixon, Harvey, Herta, Palou, Hinchcliffe, stopped at the end of Lap 43, putting Power, Ericsson, VeeKay, Sato, Jones at risk should a caution flag then fly.

Jones and Rossi stopped on Lap 45, and both emerged in front of Dixon. Sato came in a lap later, VeeKay a lap after that.

Power and Ericsson pitted at the end of Lap 47, and while Power easily beat his rival out of the pitlane, he had to cede positions to the hot-tired Ferrucci and Newgarden, who was back on the lead lap after getting his lap back under the pre-restart yellow. He was off-sequence though and would soon stop.

O’Ward made his final stop on Lap 51 and came out just ahead of Sato, and 4sec behind VeeKay, but Sato kept fighting and passed the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy at Turn 3. That meant Rahal and Ferrucci were briefly up front but they stopped on Lap 53, and Rahal had to take on reds for the first time.

So with 15 laps to go, Power, Ericsson and VeeKay ran as a train up front, half a second apart, with Sato a further 3sec back with O’Ward 2.5sec behind that. Then Power and Ericsson started pulling away from VeeKay, who saw Sato gaining on him as he used his push-to-pass to make a late charge, and stretch his lead over O’Ward.

VeeKay had fallen 5sec behind the lead battle when he encountered the lapped Dalton Kellett, who held him up long enough to allow Sato to pounce at Turn 9 and grab third.

Then on Lap 64, the race went under its second red flag: Grosjean had bounced off the curb at Turn 9 and struck the wall.

When the time came to restart, Power’s engine wouldn’t fire and his race was over.

Ericsson jumped out into the lead, Sato lagged and was immediately vulnerable to an attack from VeeKay who dived down the inside of the RLL driver at Turn 1 to claim second, and running over the marbles left Sato slow on exit, allowing O’Ward into third.

The scrap between VeeKay and O’Ward allowed Ericsson to escape and win by 1.73sec, while O’Ward came only 0.1815sec short of depriving VeeKay of second.

Sato held on to lead a RLL 4-5-6 ahead of Rahal and Ferrucci.

Penske’s misery after Power’s demise continued as Pagenaud tumbled back to 12th after banging wheels with Ferrucci on the restart, which allowed Rossi, Dixon, Jones, Newgarden, and Bourdais ahead of him.

P

No

Name

Laps

Diff

LapTime

Gap

Pits

LPit

P2P

FL

FTime

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

8

Marcus Ericsson

70

LAP 70

1:19.7133

 

4

65

0

60

1:17.2013

5

15

109.584

1:45:33.1123

Honda

P

189

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

21

Rinus VeeKay

70

1.7290

1:20.7469

1.7290

5

65

2

56

1:17.3280

 

12

109.404

1:45:34.8413

Chevy

P

231

Ed Carpenter Racing

3

5

Pato O'Ward

70

1.9105

1:20.5126

0.1815

5

65

0

60

1:17.1568

3

1

109.647

1:45:35.0228

Chevy

P

248

Arrow McLaren SP

4

30

Takuma Sato

70

8.1688

1:21.7771

6.2583

4

65

12

55

1:17.1531

 

16

109.652

1:45:41.2811

Honda

P

163

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

5

15

Graham Rahal

70

9.4645

1:21.2192

1.2957

4

65

1

47

1:17.4840

4

20

109.184

1:45:42.5768

Honda

A

179

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

6

45

Santino Ferrucci

70

9.5670

1:21.2373

0.1025

4

65

3

52

1:17.5507

 

21

109.090

1:45:42.6793

Honda

P

85

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

7

27

Alexander Rossi

70

10.3406

1:21.0680

0.7736

5

65

0

51

1:17.6728

2

2

108.918

1:45:43.4529

Honda

P

128

Andretti Autosport

8

9

Scott Dixon

70

10.8956

1:21.2717

0.5550

4

65

12

52

1:17.0420

16

11

109.810

1:45:44.0079

Honda

P

237

Chip Ganassi Racing

9

18

Ed Jones

70

11.9428

1:21.0768

1.0472

4

65

5

48

1:17.3864

2

4

109.322

1:45:45.0551

Honda

P

100

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan

10

2

Josef Newgarden

70

12.5061

1:20.4994

0.5633

6

65

10

56

1:16.6433

 

5

110.381

1:45:45.6184

Chevy

P

204

Team Penske

11

14

Sebastien Bourdais

70

13.5792

1:20.5473

1.0731

5

65

26

23

1:17.4954

 

10

109.168

1:45:46.6915

Chevy

P

108

AJ Foyt Enterprises

12

22

Simon Pagenaud

70

13.8274

1:20.3593

0.2482

4

65

2

55

1:17.2468

 

9

109.519

1:45:46.9397

Chevy

P

219

Team Penske

13

20

Conor Daly

70

14.7925

1:20.6323

0.9651

5

65

0

59

1:17.8306

 

17

108.698

1:45:47.9048

Chevy

P

102

Ed Carpenter Racing

14

26

Colton Herta

70

16.0887

1:21.3700

1.2962

5

65

0

62

1:17.4649

 

6

109.211

1:45:49.2010

Honda

P

170

Andretti Autosport

15

10

Alex Palou

70

17.2534

1:21.3492

1.1647

4

65

15

22

1:17.6386

 

25

108.966

1:45:50.3657

Honda

P

263

Chip Ganassi Racing

16

60

Jack Harvey

70

18.2898

1:21.3152

1.0364

5

65

0

61

1:17.6184

 

19

108.995

1:45:51.4021

Honda

P

135

Meyer Shank Racing

17

29

James Hinchcliffe

70

19.0114

1:21.5285

0.7216

4

65

41

58

1:17.6629

 

13

108.932

1:45:52.1237

Honda

P

87

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

18

4

Dalton Kellett

69

1 LAPS

1:23.2445

1 LAPS

4

64

0

57

1:19.4862

 

24

106.434

1:45:56.2014

Chevy

P

74

AJ Foyt Enterprises

19

3

Scott McLaughlin

67

3 LAPS

1:22.8399

1 LAPS

8

62

20

44

1:18.2440

 

23

108.123

1:45:54.6946

Chevy

P

154

Team Penske

20

12

Will Power

66

2 LAPS

17:10.426

1 LAPS

5

66

40

60

1:16.8742

37

7

110.050

1:44:13.1202

Chevy

P

141

Team Penske

21

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

65

5 LAPS

1:21.2938

1 LAPS

6

60

11

54

1:17.1022

 

8

109.724

1:45:52.3982

Honda

P

103

Andretti Autosport

22

59

Max Chilton

65

5 LAPS

1:21.8877

0.8869

5

60

0

51

1:18.1475

 

18

108.257

1:45:53.2851

Chevy

A

36

Carlin

23

51

Romain Grosjean

63

Contact

1:17.6716

7.2591

5

59

15

63

1:17.6716

1

3

108.920

1:32:24.8480

Honda

P

89

Dale Coyne Racing w/Rick Ware Racing

24

48

Jimmie Johnson

49

Mechanical

2:46.7919

14 LAPS

5

49

46

43

1:18.5678

 

22

107.678

1:44:25.8380

Honda

P

31

Chip Ganassi Racing

25

7

Felix Rosenqvist

23

Contact

1:18.2528

7.2567

1

18

52

23

1:18.2528

 

14

108.111

31:28.3936

Chevy

P

87

Arrow McLaren SP

 

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