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Iowa IndyCar: O’Ward beats Power to Race 2 win, Newgarden shunts

Newgarden looked to the inside of Team Penske-Chevrolet teammate Power at the drop of the green but the polesitter could take more momentum around the outside and retained his lead. Behind them, O’Ward did a great job to leap around the outside and send his Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet from seventh to third, repelling a retaliatory attempt by Takuma Sato of Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR-Honda.

Behind them ran Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet’s Conor Daly, Scott McLaughlin (Penske), Jack Harvey (Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda) and Felix Rosenqvist (AMSP). Another driver making strong progress, as in Race 1, was Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s championship leader Marcus Ericsson, up from 15th to ninth ahead of ECR’s Rinus VeeKay.

On Lap 19 , Rosenqvist moved into seventh ahead of Harvey, and a couple of laps later one of the stars of Saturday’s race, Jimmie Johnson, passed Colton Herta for 12th. The Andretti Autosport driver had started nine places lower than he started because of a penalty for an early engine change.

Ericsson dived down the inside of Harvey to grab eighth on Lap 25, and Harvey also swiftly lost spots to VeeKay, Romain Grosjean, Johnson and the Coyne/HMD car of rookie David Malukas. Rosenqvist and Ericsson had demoted Daly to seventh by Lap 33, and the ECR driver dropped down the field.

Up front, the gap between Power and Newgarden was concertina-ing in and out between half a second and 1.2sec according to the backmarker situation.

Scott Dixon had made a cautious start from his 18th grid slot but as first pitstops approached, he was up to 13th, ahead of champion teammate Alex Palou. In fact, Palou was having a torrid day, lapped by the two leading Penskes by Lap 50, who had also pulled seven seconds on O’Ward. Palou pitted on Lap 58.

Dixon and Herta were the next expected frontrunners to pit , while O’Ward pitted on Lap 64. A lap later, Power and Newgarden pitted together, left together, getting exceedingly close on pit exit, with the #12 retaining its lead. As they settled down again up front their margin to O’Ward was down to 5 sec. Johnson’s stop, six laps earlier, ahd seen him vault into fourth, ahead of Ericsson, McLaughlin, Dixon, Rosenqvist, Herta and VeeKay.

The pass for the lead from Newgarden came on Lap 85, as Power came up to lap Grosjean. Power tried to force Newgarden low, but the dirty air from Grosjean, while it gave him a draft, it then compromised his car through the turns, and when he washed out wide, Newgarden was into the lead.

Ericsson claimed fourth from teammate Johnson just before one-third distance of this 300-lap race but he was 15sec behind Newgarden.

VeeKay had an alarming double twitch on the lowline at Turn 4 that allowed Herta and Malukas into the Top 10, prompting ECR to call its Dutch ace to the pits for new Firestones.

On Lap 120, Kirkwood struck the wall at Turn 2 on his 119th lap and out came the first caution of the day, the AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy having run high to allow leader Newgarden and VeeKay through.

Newgarden, Power, O’Ward and Ericsson pitted as soon as the pits opened, and got out without problem in the same order but now bunched together. When the remainder pitted, #3 Penske crew jumped McLaughlin got their guy out ahead of Johnson who then also lost a spot to Dixon on the restart.

At that same restart, O’Ward rebuffed a passing attempt by Ericsson, and then immediately started attacking Power, briefly passing him by a fraction but unable to make it stick. Behind Johnson, it was the second AMSP car of Rosenqvist, Grosjean and Herta completing the Top 10. Ahead of Johnson, Dixon moved past McLaughlin for fifth, and the sophomore then lost two places to Rosenqvist and Johnson, the Swede having jumped ahead of the NASCAR legend.

Herta started falling down the field from Lap 175, losing spots to Sato, Callum Ilott of Juncos Hollinger Racing and Malukas.

Leader Newgarden had an alarming moment on Lap 183 when he got caught in the dirty air of Malukas, and Power closed to within a couple of tenths, but the leader re-gathered his thoughts and extended his lead to 1sec again.

On Lap 193, McLaughlin ducked into the pits, and even more significantly, O’Ward hit pitlane on Lap 194. That prompted the two Penske leaders to come in next time by, and soon Dixon followed suit.

Just as in yesterday’s race, that slightly earlier stop – and a great in-lap by O’Ward – ensured he jumped Power to become Newgarden’s prime challenger. Stopping even earlier, had ensured McLaughin was up into fourth, ahead of Ericsson who then also lost out to Dixon to run just ahead of Johnson.

Behind, the three-car Ganassi train ran the impressive Ilott, ahead of Rosenqvist, Grosjean, Herta and Sato. Malukas then passed both his teammate and Herta to take 11th, and on Lap 228 Rosenqvist moved past Ilott for eighth.

Then suddenly on his 235th lap, a failure at the right-rear of the car sent Newgarden spinning hard into the wall, thankfully without hurt to the driver. The caution sent everyone into the pits, and they emerged in the order of O’Ward, Power, Dixon, McLaughlin, Ericsson, Johnson, Grosjean, Heta, Malukas and Ilott.

The green flag waved at the start of Lap 250, and McLaughlin moved past Dixon into third, while Johnson passed Ericsson around the outside to grab fifth, although he had to survive some alarming moments on tires not quite up to temperature in order to stay there.

Over the final stint, O’Ward eked out his gap to Power, who was doing the same to McLaughlin, who was doing the same to Dixon. Ericsson passed Johnson for fifth, but Johnson wouldn’t let him go. And they started battling hard.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sato and Malukas endured a torrid battle with each other and also with Herta. But Rosenqvist passed them both and Grosjean to take seventh with six laps to go.

O’Ward crossed the line 4.25sec ahead of Power, who was 5.2sec clear of McLaughlin. Ganassi finished 4-5-6, Johnson allowed to stay ahead of Ericsson despite it causing the Indy 500 winner’s points lead to shrink to eight. Rosenqvist, Malukas, Grosjean and Sato completed the Top 10 with Ilott a creditable 11th ahead of Herta.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Mph Pits Retirement
1 Mexico Patricio O'Ward United States Arrow McLaren SP 300 1:54'23.2097   146.443 4  
2 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 300 1:54'27.4573 4.2476 146.019 4  
3 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 300 1:54'32.6561 9.4464 149.229 4  
4 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 300 1:54'34.3596 11.1499 149.472 4  
5 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 300 1:54'35.5348 12.3251 149.544 4  
6 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 300 1:54'37.4437 14.2340 149.689 4  
7 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist United States Arrow McLaren SP 300 1:54'40.8984 17.6887 149.389 4  
8 United States David Malukas United States Dale Coyne Racing 300 1:54'41.5822 18.3725 149.644 4  
9 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 300 1:54'42.7673 19.5576 148.386 4  
10 Japan Takuma Sato United States Dale Coyne Racing 300 1:54'43.9422 20.7325 145.808 4  
11 United Kingdom Callum Ilott United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 300 1:54'44.7027 21.4930 146.672 4  
12 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 299 1:54'26.4217 1 Lap 143.680 4  
13 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 299 1:54'40.5555 1 Lap 149.285 4  
14 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 299 1:54'41.3559 1 Lap 149.085 4  
15 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 298 1:54'32.2849 2 Laps 150.265 4  
16 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 298 1:54'33.9342 2 Laps 148.875 4  
17 United States Ed Carpenter United States Ed Carpenter Racing 297 1:54'40.3549 3 Laps 149.737 6  
18 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 296 1:54'25.7926 4 Laps 148.131 5  
19 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 296 1:54'31.8243 4 Laps 149.797 5  
20 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 296 1:54'38.9620 4 Laps 148.330 4  
21 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 295 1:54'26.7255 5 Laps 145.492 6  
22 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 294 1:54'39.5606 6 Laps 150.445 5  
23 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 281 1:54'30.3943 19 Laps 149.710 6  
24 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 235 1:31'49.2703 65 Laps 8.659 3 Accident
25 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 117 41'24.8490 183 Laps 148.771 1 Accident
26 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 112 39'41.2876 188 Laps 98.225 2 Mechanical
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