IndyCar Road America: Newgarden overcomes late cautions for flawless win

Penske's Josef Newgarden overcame a pair of late-race restarts to execute a flawless IndyCar race at Road America, taking his third victory of the season.

IndyCar Road America: Newgarden overcomes late cautions for flawless win

Newgarden, who had been burned in 2021 following a late caution and hit gearbox trouble with two laps left as the race restarted, suffered no such trouble to beat Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson home - as the Swede dispatched polesitter Alexander Rossi late on.

Rossi had been assured in the opening part of the race from pole, keeping Newgarden at bay in the opening 15 laps, but the order switched during the first phase of pitstops as they both came into the pitlane simultaneously.

Making the switch to the black-walled hard tyres, the combination of the reliably swift #2 Penske crew and Rossi having to pause as Scott McLaughlin pulled into the pitbox ahead of him delayed the Andretti driver sufficiently so that he emerged behind his foe.

Newgarden then took the initiative out in front, building a comfortable lead over Rossi as the Andretti driver perhaps had worse luck with traffic, and looked to be in cruise control during the middle portion of the race.

But after the final round of stops on lap 42, Rossi was starting to make inroads into Newgarden’s lead, trimming it to 3.2s and closing in before the safety car was called with eight laps to go as Pato O'Ward's Arrow McLaren SP began to lose power, and engine died at The Kink, bringing out the yellow.

Rossi, who had pared his disadvantage down to 2.8s, now had virtually no disadvantage. But Newgarden bolted on the restart with five laps to go and got comfortable jump on Rossi, only for his efforts to be undone by former teammate Helio Castroneves spinning his Meyer Shank Racing car and stalling.

The caution again came out for two laps as Castroneves' car was restarted, prompting a three-lap shootout to the finish.

Once more, Newgarden got the jump on Rossi - leaving his rival open to Ericsson, who dived inside Rossi to grab second.

Keeping a strong advantage over Ericsson, Newgarden crossed the line to win by 3.3s - winning $1m in the process for securing victories on an oval, road and street course this season, with half going to charity.

Ericsson had survived an early skirmish with Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Alex Palou on the lap 4 restart as they battled for third, as last year's winner appeared to tuck in a tad too abruptly and the contact sent Palou into the gravel with his front-left suspension track rod broken.

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images

Having looked good for third all race long, the final restart gave Ericsson the ammunition to mount a late move on Rossi and grab more points - in the process, reclaiming the lead of the IndyCar standings as erstwhile leader Will Power endured a difficult run to 19th.

Rossi held on for third despite a late assault from his Andretti team-mates Colton Herta and Romain Grosjean, and in the melee Herta had to defend hard from Grosjean on the run down to Turn 5.

On the last lap along the main straight, Herta had no push to pass left and thus had to concede position to Grosjean through to fourth, but it remained a good recovery from 11th on the grid after being handed a five-place grid drop.

Felix Rosenqvist made an alternate strategy work to get sixth place, he and Graham Rahal making their first stops under the third yellow flag period - produced by Devlin DeFrancesco misjudging a pass on Power into Turn 5, clipping the #12 Penske's rear and sending him spinning into the wall on the outside of the track, where he broke off his front wing.

Power was able to return to the pits and collect a new front wing and stay on the lead lap.

Having hit his ambitious fuel targets, Rosenqvist was able to find parity with the frontrunners by the end, but couldn't pass Herta for fifth, and only just held off McLaughlin and Rahal at the chequered flag.

Scott Dixon and Christian Lundgaard completed the top 10, the Danish rookie battling at the end with former F2 sparring partner Callum Ilott over 10th.

Ilott made his return from the bench after breaking his fourth metacarpal in his heavy Indy 500 crash, getting through to the Fast 12 in qualifying but sustaining a crash at Turn 14.

IndyCar Road America race results - 55 laps

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1:53'02.8097  
2 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1:53'06.1807 3.3710
3 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1:53'08.4445 5.6348
4 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 1:53'08.6587 5.8490
5 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 1:53'11.5754 8.7657
6 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 1:53'12.0932 9.2835
7 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 1:53'12.1161 9.3064
8 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:53'12.1825 9.3728
9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1:53'12.5199 9.7102
10 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:53'12.8527 10.0430
11 United Kingdom Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:53'13.4122 10.6025
12 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 1:53'14.5537 11.7440
13 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1:53'16.2759 13.4662
14 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1:53'17.5705 14.7608
15 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 1:53'17.8946 15.0849
16 United States David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD 1:53'18.9498 16.1401
17 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1:53'19.4602 16.6505
18 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 1:53'19.6125 16.8028
19 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1:53'20.0188 17.2091
20 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1:53'21.4938 18.6841
21 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro Paretta Autosport 1:53'23.0645 20.2548
22 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 1:53'24.2465 21.4368
23 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1:53'26.1195 23.3098
24 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1:53'23.1691 1 Lap
25 Colombia Tatiana Calderon United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1:53'25.1810 1 Lap
26 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 1:32'18.2702 9 Laps
27 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1:33'18.9891 19 Laps
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IndyCar Road America: Rossi pips Newgarden to end pole drought
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