Detroit IndyCar: O'Ward puts in late charge to beat Newgarden

Pato O’Ward put in a stunning late-race charge to claim his second IndyCar victory of the season, passing long-time leader Josef Newgarden with three laps remaining.

Detroit IndyCar: O'Ward puts in late charge to beat Newgarden

The Arrow McLaren SP driver took the initiative after a caution period emerged with 12 laps remaining, as Romain Grosjean spun and stopped on track following a brake fire.

O’Ward had just nipped past Scott Dixon following the end of a caution period one lap prior, brought out for Jimmie Johnson who slid out of control at Turn 1 and stalled – requiring a fire-up from the track marshals.

Lying in fifth at the final restart, O’Ward had tremendous pace as the green flag dropped and cleared Graham Rahal and Alex Palou almost immediately, which allowed him to go after the leading pair of Newgarden and Colton Herta.

O’Ward then picked off Herta a lap later, and immediately cut down the gap to Newgarden – chasing the Penske driver down to set up a final showdown.

With three laps remaining, Newgarden’s soft tyres began to lose performance and handed O’Ward an opportunity to dive past at Turn 7, which the Mexican driver took gladly and immediately scampered up the road to cement victory.

O’Ward becomes the first repeat winner of the season in IndyCar, and moves ahead of Alex Palou in the drivers’ standings – albeit by a single point.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

A despondent Newgarden hung onto second, batting away the advances of Palou and Herta at the end, but was left to rue his race strategy after his contra-strategy call was compromised almost immediately with a first-lap yellow flag: Max Chilton ended up hitting the rear of James Hinchcliffe after the Andretti driver hit the brakes to avoid a wayward Sebastien Bourdais.

Regardless, Newgarden built a huge lead over Herta on the first stint, eventually building a break of 14 seconds over Herta on the harder tyres in the race’s opening act.

Newgarden continued in the same vein after the first round of stops for the frontrunners, retaining a buffer of over 10 seconds from Herta.

But as the race ticked into half distance, the Andretti driver began to scythe away at Newgarden’s lead, dipping below the 1m16s as Newgarden was consistently logging 1m17s lap times.

Herta took the gap down to five seconds prior to his second stop, taking on a final set of primary, harder tyres to hunt down Newgarden – who had still yet to run the softer tyres.

After Newgarden took on the red-walled tyres, the set on which he set his pole lap in qualifying, Herta had the bit between his teeth and further hacked bundles of time out of the Penske driver before the final brace of cautions.

Despite his earlier pace, Herta could not pick up from where he left off in the final part of the race, dropping off the back of Newgarden and losing out to O’Ward.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

Although Herta attempted an assault on both at Turn 3 with four laps remaining, he locked up and was then cleared by Palou – who claimed third place.

Graham Rahal finished fifth, having closed up to the last-gasp battle for second place, as Will Power somewhat made up for his Race 1 disappointment - in which his car failed to fire up after a final red flag while leading – to finish sixth on an alternate strategy.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dixon survived a first-lap scuffle with Alex Rossi and Grosjean – in which he was tagged by both at the first corner – to finish seventh, as Simon Pagenaud grabbed eighth.

Race 1 winner Marcus Ericsson made use of an early pitstop to climb up to ninth, after running out of fuel in qualifying, as Santino Ferrucci recovered from a qualifying crash to complete the top 10 in one of Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s spare cars.

IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix - Race 2 Results

shares
comments

Related video

Detroit IndyCar: Newgarden takes race two pole as Ferrucci crashes

Previous article

Detroit IndyCar: Newgarden takes race two pole as Ferrucci crashes

Next article

O’Ward dedicates Detroit IndyCar win to Rosenqvist and Ojjeh

O’Ward dedicates Detroit IndyCar win to Rosenqvist and Ojjeh
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Plus

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after edging past Alex Palou on the penultimate lap of a thrilling race that validated Michael Shank's faith in the veteran Brazilian - who is discovering that there is life after Penske after all

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard? Plus

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious at the Brickyard?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 27, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Plus

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there?

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Plus

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021