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Race report
IndyCar Road America

IndyCar Road America: Power ends win drought to lead Penske 1-2-3

Will Power ended a two-year winless drought and led a Team Penske sweep by scoring victory on Sunday at Road America.

A two-time IndyCar Series champion, Power was running third ahead of the final pitstop, but utilized the overcut to jump his team-mates to cycle to the lead and coast to a 3.2609s victory at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course.

It was the 42nd win of Power’s career, moving him into a tie for fourth all-time with Michael Andretti. It also marked the first win for Power since Detroit in June 2022.

Josef Newgarden was second, ahead of team-mate Scott McLaughlin, who led a race-high 18 of 55 laps, in third.

Story of the Race

Trouble struck right on the opening lap as pole-sitter Linus Lundqvist was hit from behind by Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Marcus Armstrong, putting both into a spin and triggering a chain reaction as Andretti Global’s Colton Herta also spun after being tagged by Newgarden.

Those buried deeper in the pack were forced off course, but some, like Graham Rahal, ended up among those to spin after contact. Armstrong received a drive-thru penalty for avoidable contact as a result.

During the sequence of events, Andretti’s Kyle Kirkwood, who was on the outside of Lundqvist as the incident took place, assumed the lead.

Numerous drivers dove to pit road to swap off the softer alternate tires to the preferred harder primary compound, including Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, Rahal and Nolan Siegel, who was substituting for Agustin Canapino in the No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet.

The restart on lap 4 saw Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin draft off Kirkwood and make a pass for the lead into Turn 1. The caution returned the next lap for debris, which appeared to be the strakes that came from Herta’s Honda as he went over the curbing. Herta spun shortly after contact from Lundqvist.

A restart on lap 6 was met with another caution on lap 7 after rookies Christian Rasmussen and Kyffin Simpson tangled, with the former tagging the back of Simpson’s No. 4 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and sending him into a spin and hard into the tire barrier in Turn 14, destroying the left-front in the process.

McLaughlin led the field to another restart on lap 10, who managed to build up a lead of over 2.3s over Kirkwood over the next five laps. McLaughlin pitted on lap 17 after building over a 4s lead, handing off the lead to Newgarden as Kirkwood also pitted.

Newgarden, along with team-mate Will Power, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, O’Ward and Siegel stopped on the following lap. Upon coming out of the pits, Newgarden rejoined alongside McLaughlin, who made the pass entering Turn 1.

At this time, defending race winner Alex Palou delivered another of his known overcut strategies, staying out for an additional lap and cycling out behind McLaughlin, Newgarden, Power and Dixon.

Palou managed to fend off Kirkwood, who dropped dramatically during the pit sequence, on lap 20 and then managed to push by Dixon on lap 21 to assume fourth among the frontrunners – with Felix Rosenqvist and Lundqvist yet to make their respective stops and running 1-2.

Dixon, on the less desired alternates, began dropping dramatically in the running order and came to pit road on lap 23 once he fell past the top 10. There were massive blisters on the left-rear tire shown after the stop.

Both Rosenqvist and Lundqvist also pitted, which elevated McLaughlin back to the lead and with a 3.5s advantage over Newgarden.

McLaughlin pitted on lap 31, swapping from the harder primary tires to a set of alternates. Newgarden and Power stayed out for an additional lap, with the latter also moving to the same tire strategy as McLaughlin. Newgarden was able to remain on the harder primaries, having run alternates earlier.

The battle for the lead was met as McLaughlin caught his team-mates as they exited the pits. Power attempted to protect the spot, but McLaughlin made the pass and then got by Newgarden. Data showed McLaughlin made up 0.769s on Newgarden in total time between pitting and the out-lap.

Meanwhile, Palou managed to pull off another overcut before pitting on lap 33; returning in fourth among the frontrunners on the same pit sequence but 7.7s behind the trio of Penskes.

Newgarden’s run on the preferred tire came into play as he caught and passed McLaughlin to take the race lead entering Turn 1 on lap 36. A replay showed Newgarden making a ‘hang loose’ hand gesture and looked over at his team-mate as he made the pass.

Palou was the first of the leaders this time to pit, coming in on lap 42 and opting for primary tires.

McLaughlin then dove to pit road on lap 43 and swapped to the primary compound. Newgarden was catching the backmarker of Siegel and decided to dive to pit lane on lap 44, while Power opted to stay out and assumed the lead.

Newgarden returned but had a sizeable advantage over McLaughlin of roughly 3.5s. Power was called in on lap 45 and moved off the alternates. He returned with an advantage of his own – roughly 0.3s – over Newgarden to vault from third to first with the overcut move on his team-mates.

With 10 laps to go, it was Herta in the lead by virtue of not making his next stop. However, the battle that would cycle up for the win was between Power and Newgarden, with each holding 25 and 24 seconds of push-to-pass, respectively.

Herta pitted on lap 48, officially leaving the battle for the win between the three Penske drivers.

Power held a 1.6s lead over Newgarden with six laps to go. The lead for Power expanded to 3.5s with two laps remaining and he brought it home from there.

   
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Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph Pits Points Retirement
1 Australia W. Power Team Penske 12 55

1:45'00.0267

  137.619 3    
2 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 55

+3.2609

1:45'03.2876

3.2609 139.019 3    
3 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 55

+8.0148

1:45'08.0415

4.7539 136.646 3    
4 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 55

+16.7118

1:45'16.7385

8.6970 136.185 3    
5 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Global 27 55

+24.8662

1:45'24.8929

8.1544 138.394 3    
6 United States C. Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian 26 55

+28.3782

1:45'28.4049

3.5120 137.698 5    
7 France R. Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 55

+29.2710

1:45'29.2977

0.8928 138.565 3    
8 Mexico P. O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 55

+30.3109

1:45'30.3376

1.0399 136.249 4    
9 Sweden M. Ericsson Andretti Global 28 55

+35.6260

1:45'35.6527

5.3151 139.950 3    
10 United States G. Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 55

+42.8394

1:45'42.8661

7.2134 137.667 4    
11 Denmark C. Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 55

+46.4444

1:45'46.4711

3.6050 138.564 3    
12 Sweden L. Lundqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 8 55

+46.8107

1:45'46.8374

0.3663 138.863 5    
13 France T. Pourchaire Arrow McLaren 6 55

+54.5282

1:45'54.5549

7.7175 138.072 3    
14 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 55

+59.2412

1:45'59.2679

4.7130 134.314 3    
15 United States S. Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 55

+1'03.7336

1:46'03.7603

4.4924 137.602 3    
16 Brazil P. Fittipaldi Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 55

+1'04.7161

1:46'04.7428

0.9825 138.137 3    
17
R. Robb A.J. Foyt Enterprises
41 55

+1'08.4389

1:46'08.4656

3.7228 138.233 3    
18 United States A. Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 55

+1'15.0426

1:46'15.0693

6.6037 136.844 3    
19 Brazil H. Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 66 55

+1'15.6918

1:46'15.7185

0.6492 138.025 3    
20
C. Rasmussen Ed Carpenter Racing
20 55

+1'19.0701

1:46'19.0968

3.3783 137.640 4    
21 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 55

+1'24.4754

1:46'24.5021

5.4053 138.371 4    
22 Italy L. Ghiotto Dale Coyne Racing 51 55

+1'40.1612

1:46'40.1879

15.6858 138.273 6    
23
N. Siegel Juncos Hollinger Racing
78 54

+1 Lap

1:45'10.1790

1 Lap 137.844 5    
24 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 53

+2 Laps

1:45'21.9506

1 Lap 137.380 3    
25 United Kingdom J. Harvey Dale Coyne Racing 18 51

+4 Laps

1:46'28.2869

2 Laps 131.125 3    
26 New Zealand M. Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 35

+20 Laps

1:10'34.4531

16 Laps 128.050 5   Mechanical
27 United States K. Simpson Chip Ganassi Racing 4 5

+50 Laps

13'08.8502

30 Laps 83.908     Accident

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