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IndyCar Barber: McLaughlin beats Power in sprint to finish for Penske 1-2

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin fended off team-mate Will Power on a late restart to capture IndyCar Series victory at Barber Motorsports Park.

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

After starting on pole in the No. 3 Chevrolet, McLaughlin made the best of a three-stop strategy to lead a race-high 58 of 90 laps around the 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course, beating Power, who underwent an engine change after the morning warm-up, by 1.3194s.

Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Linus Lundqvist delivered an impressive drive to finish third – the first podium of his career.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist finished fourth, ahead of reigning and two-time IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing).

The front row of McLaughlin and Power started on the harder primary tyres, with the former able to get a clean jump into Turn 1 when the green flag waved.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay, who started last in the 27-car field, was trying to make up ground when he tagged Sting Ray Robb (AJ Foyt Racing), sending him around and collecting Jack Harvey (Dale Coyne Racing) in Turn 1. All would continue on, with VeeKay receiving a drive-through penalty.

The next lap featured elbows out racing between Colton Herta (Andretti Global) and Santino Ferrucci (Foyt), with the pair making contact on lap 2 and then again two laps later with Ferrucci delivering a hip check while the two were running 18th and 19th.

While that was going on, Pato O’Ward, who started fourth in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, endured a miserable start as he locked up and spun to avoid rear-ending third-place man Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing).

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

O’Ward fell to 24th but was then involved in the first caution on lap 5 after clipping the curb and shunting Pietro Fittipaldi, Lundgaard’s team-mate, into the Turn 13 barriers. O’Ward received a drive-thru penalty once the race restarted on lap 7.

The runner-up position changed hands on lap 23 after Power went wide in Turn 5 and off course briefly, dropping to third and elevating Lundgaard, running on a set of used softer alternate tyres.

Lungaard pitted the next lap and swapped to a set of new softer rubber, with Power coming in for service on lap 27 and changing to used alternates. McLaughlin replicated his team-mate’s tyre strategy when he pitted on lap 28.

After the cycle of stops among the field, McLaughlin reclaimed the lead on lap 35 and carried a 7.2s lead over Lundgaard by lap 38.

The caution came out again on lap 43 for Alexander Rossi, who lost his left rear wheel and ended up stopping off-course.

Several takers came to the pits, including McLaughlin, who took on a new set of alternates. Power also took alternates and was able to get out ahead of Lundgaard.

Among those to not pit was Palou, who assumed the race lead in the No. 10 Honda, with Felix Roseqvist (Meyer Shank Racing) second. Marcus Armstrong and Ferrucci lined up third and fourth when the restart happened on lap 48.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

After he restarted 17th and endured a battle with Power, the pair swapping positions briefly, McLaughlin began to charge forward, moving up to 15th by lap 50.

A third caution was waved on lap 55 after Robb went heavy into the Turn 1 barrier, saying “I think my steering wheel broke” over the radio.

Palou, Rosenqvist and Armstrong were among the takers to hit pit road. Ferrucci stayed out and took over the lead, ahead of rookie Linus Lundqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing). Palou took primaries, while Armstrong and Rosenqvist opted for used alternates.

With many takers to pit lane, it propelled McLaughlin to third, followed by rookie Kyffin Simpson, Power and Lundgaard.

After the initial restart was waved off on lap 59, it went green on lap 60 with Ferrucci leading Lundqvist and McLaughlin.

Ferrucci pitted from the lead and swapped for a set of new alternates on lap 66, putting him in play to make it to the end. Lundqvist vaulted to the lead but handed off to McLaughlin by pitting with 20 laps to go.

McLaughlin built up over 3.5s lead over Power, but the two, along with Lundgaard, pitted with 15 laps to. McLaughlin, on used alternates for the final stint, returned with the lead, ahead of Power and Palou, on a conservative strategy, rose to third but 7.6s behind.

Linus Lundqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Linus Lundqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Lundqvist moved into the top three with a move by his CGR team-mate Palou with 12 laps to go.

McLaughlin’s lead of over 3.5s evaporated when the caution waved with five laps to go after rookie Christian Rasmussen slid and stalled in Turn 13.

The late restart happened with two laps to go, and McLaughlin made a getaway from his team-mate, who came under pressure from Lundqvist.

In the end, McLaughlin scooted away with the win, ahead of Power and Lundqvist.

Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps   Time   Gap 
Scott McLaughlin Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:56'45.7773  
Will Power Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:56'47.0967 1.3194
Linus Lundqvist Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'48.2194 2.4421
Felix Rosenqvist Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'50.2882 4.5109
Alex Palou Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'51.1465 5.3692
C.Lundgaard Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'51.8282 6.0509
Santino Ferrucci Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:56'52.3828 6.6055
Colton Herta Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'53.2897 7.5124
Marcus Armstrong Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'53.8148 8.0375
10  Kyle Kirkwood Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'54.3346 8.5573
11  Graham Rahal Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'54.8061 9.0288
12  Romain Grosjean Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:56'55.2268 9.4495
13  Jack Harvey Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'55.9042 10.1269
14  Kyffin Simpson Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'56.2188 10.4415
15  Scott Dixon Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'57.1401 11.3628
16  Josef Newgarden Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:56'58.0128 12.2355
17  R.van Kalmthout Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:56'59.2865 13.5092
18  Marcus Ericsson Dallara/Honda 90 1:56'59.6210 13.8437
19  Tom Blomqvist Dallara/Honda 90 1:57'00.3524 14.5751
20  Agustín Canapino Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:57'00.4580 14.6807
21  Luca Ghiotto Dallara/Honda 90 1:57'01.4582 15.6809
22  Théo Pourchaire Dallara/Chevrolet 89 1:55'47.6985 stopped
23  Patricio O'Ward Dallara/Chevrolet 90 1:57'02.2234 16.4461
24  C.Rasmussen Dallara/Chevrolet 89 1:57'03.5045  
25  Alexander Rossi Dallara/Chevrolet 60 1:40'38.7103  
26  Sting Ray Robb Dallara/Chevrolet 54 1:09'59.8639  
27  P.Fittipaldi Dallara/Honda 42 1:42'21.7871  

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