Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Laguna Seca IndyCar: Palou wins race, Power is champion

Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Power got a clean start from the drop of the green flag but both Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport-Honda and Pato O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet –up from sixth – squeezed front row starter Callum Ilott’s Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevy to the outside at Turn 2 to claim second and third respectively. Romain Grosjean dropped to fifth ahead of David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing w/HMD), Scott McLaughlin (Penske), Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing), Simon Pagenaud (Meyer Shank Racing) and Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi).

Josef Newgarden was up to 20th from 25th, while Scott Dixon held station in 13th, and on Lap 3, Newgarden clicked another one off with a pass on Kyle Kirkwood into the Corkscrew.

Penske’s McLaughlin and Palou were battling hard, as the first two primary runners, trying to stay clear of Simon Pagenaud’s Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, and Palou passed the Penske driver to claim seventh on Lap 5.

Power was keen not to overstress the Firestone reds on the abrasive 2.238-mile Laguna Seca surface although he had eked out a lead of 2.6sec on Lap 8. Already Ericsson was suffering, however, because his red fronts were giving up, and he had to cede 10th to compatriot Felix Rosenqvist.

Ericsson and Dixon pitted at the end of Lap 10, as did Colton Herta although a wheelnut was dropped in his stop, delaying him.

Power’s lead became 3.5sec on Lap 10, as Rossi was dropping back with his tires falling off, losing positions to O’Ward and Ilott on consecutive laps, 10-11.

McLaughlin pitted to get off his primaries to grab more primaries on Lap 10, while Malukas pitted to take on alternates.

Once Rossi dropped back to fourth, he was able to stay there because Grosjean was going through the same thing and holding up primary-tired Palou.

Having started on used reds, Rossi had to – per the rules – to take on fresh reds.

O’Ward pitted from second at the end of Lap 14 having got his deficit to Power down to 3.2sec, and Power took on primaries next time by, emerging from pitlane in fourth, just ahead of Newgarden who was running long on his primaries. Ilott pitted from the lead next time by leaving Palou and Rosenqvist up front, 5sec apart, with Lundgaard – also on primaries – another four seconds back. Ilott would emerge from the pits still behind O’Ward but having made a net gain by jumping Rossi.

Palou pitted from the lead at the end of Lap 19 and came out behind Ilott and Rossi but he was on fresh reds and was making the most of them. So far, the early stops for Ericsson, Dixon and Herta didn’t appear to have worked out as they ran 13th through 15th, the latter on reds.

Lundgaard went to the end of Lap 22 before stopping, while his Rookie of the Year rival Malukas had to make a second stop, this time taking on primaries.

Newgarden, who had been running two seconds behind Power, came to the pits for the first time on Lap 23, while Rosenqvist stopped a lap longer, handing the lead back to Power whose advantage over O’Ward was five seconds, but Palou was in a rocketship on his reds. Power didn’t want to make a fight of it with a teammate of one of his title rivals, and ceded the lead on Lap 27 without a struggle.

Ericsson dived up the inside of Pagenaud at Turn 3 to claim ninth on Lap 29, and that sent the MSR driver into the gravel but the 2016 champ kept it going and rejoined the course. IndyCar investigated it but saw no reason to penalize.

Dixon pitted for a second time on Lap 29 to take on more primaries, and McLaughlin did the same on Lap 30.

Up front, Palou had pulled a 10-second lead on Power by Lap 32, but Power had eased away from Pato O’Ward who ran five seconds back, and was struggling to hold off Rosenqvist on reds. Rosenqvist passed his teammate to claim third on Lap 33.

Newgarden had been exceling himself on his soft alternates and got up to seventh before he pitted for a second time and rejoined ninth.

Ilott stopped on the pit exit on Lap 38, apparently without power, which prompted a rush for the pits before IndyCar threw a yellow . Palou had to wait for Power to pit in the box ahead of him, but then when he got sent he nudged into Rosenqvist.

The net result was that the field was bunched back up, with the Top 10 all on primaries. Palou now led Power, Rosenqvist, O’Ward, Newgarden, McLaughlin, Grosjean, Ericsson, Lundgaard and Dixon. Graham Rahal was 11th and on alternates.

The Lap 42 restart saw Palou easily stretch away from Power who spun up his wheels out of the final turn and had to get very elbows out to keep Rosenqvist behind him at Turn 2.

The man on the move was Newgarden who was going flat out, full-rich on fuel. He passed O’Ward and Rosenqvist on consecutive laps at the top of the Corkscrew to claim third and move onto Power’s tail. The championship leader was struggling having taken too much wing out at his pitstop and was seven seconds down on Palou by Lap 45. Newgarden duplicated his Corkscrew move on his teammate and Power steered well clear and let him go.

By Lap 48, Power had a new car filling his mirrors, for Romain Grosjean, like Newgarden, had gotten ahead of both AMSP-Chevrolets, and was now harrying the #12 Penske.

At the same time, despite setting personal bests and pulling away from Power, Newgarden was not gaining on leader Palou. In fact, the Ganassi driver’s lead was out to 8.6sec on Lap 50.

Dixon and McLaughlin pitted from 10th and 8th respectively on Laps 51 and 52 respectively.

By Lap 53, Power had the pace to defend his third place from Grosjean and edged his advantage out to 1.5sec, as the Andretti driver and the pursuing AMSP drivers continued at the 76sec pace. Only Palou and Newgarden were running 75sec laps, and that suggested that without the help of another caution period, Newgarden would need to stop again.

His third stop came on Lap 61, and he took on fresh alternates, came out in sixth, and was two seconds behind O’Ward, and 10sec behind Power. He passed O’Ward for fifth into Turn 2 on Lap 63, and on Lap 65 he got around Rosenqvist at Turn 2 and Grosjean on the entry to the Corkscrew.

O’Ward made his final stop on Lap 66, and Power stopped on Lap 67, as did Rosenqvist, both of them taking on fresh primaries. Palou and Grosjean stopped again on Lap 68, leaving Newgarden free to just nail as many fast laps as he could before his fourth and final stop.

With 25 laps to go Newgarden led Palou by 9.5sec, with Power a further 15.5sec behind, with Ericsson up to fourth only 1.6sec behind. However, Ericsson and McLaughlin – who he passed with a very muscular maneuver at Turn 2 that sent the Penske into the gravel – would need to make a fourth stop, like McLaughlin.

Turning very fast times at this time was Grosjean on reds in fifth, but he didn’t have the satisfaction of getting around Ericsson who pitted on Lap 73, same as Newgarden, who emerged in second place, 21sec behind Palou and a couple of seconds ahead of Power.

However, Palou now looked unstoppable, reeling off 1min14.7sec laps, while Newgarden and Power ran 1min15.8s, 1.3sec apart, with Grosjean on worn reds just 1.3sec behind Power. In fifth and sixth ran Rosenqvist and teammate O’Ward, but on Lap 79 Lundgaard moved into sixth in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan to apparently cement his Rookie of the Year status.

With 10 to go, Palou’s lead was an amazing 27sec, as Newgarden and Power ran in Penske formation in second and third, 1.5sec apart, and Grosjean another 1.5sec behind. In fact, with his fading alternates, Grosjean was going to have to watch his mirrors for Rosenqvist, who was putting in one of his finest performances of the season. Sure enough, Rosenqvist made the move on Lap 88 and made it stick, to claim fourth, 3.5sec behind Power.

The final laps were enlivened by Rossi in seventh trying to stave off McLaughlin and Ericsson who as things stood would end on identical points. McLaughlin snatched seventh from the Andretti driver on Lap 92, but wheel banging between Ericsson and Rossi ended up with the Ganassi car dropping off the track and Rossi eighth.

Grosjean’s loss of pace in the closing stages cost him fifth place to Lundgaard who had climbed from 16th to a decisive Rookie of the Year title.

Palou finished half a minute ahead of Newgarden, with Power 3.5sec further back, 1.7sec ahead of Rosenqvist, while behind Lundgaard, McLaughlin snatched sixth from Grosjean on the final lap.

P

Name

Laps

Diff

LapTime

Gap

Pits

LPit

P2P

FL

FTime

Led

ST

FSpeed

Elapsed

Engine

Tire

Points

Team

1

Alex Palou

95

-

1:18.2339

 

3

68

27

25

1:13.8628

67

11

109.078

2:03:31.0628

Honda

P

510

Chip Ganassi Racing

2

Josef Newgarden

95

30.3812

1:17.9435

30.3812

4

73

34

49

1:14.6452

5

25

107.935

2:04:01.4440

Chevy

P

544

Team Penske

3

Will Power

95

33.8528

1:17.5015

3.4716

3

67

30

6

1:14.4001

17

1

108.290

2:04:04.9156

Chevy

P

560

Team Penske

4

Felix Rosenqvist

95

35.5322

1:17.6003

1.6794

3

67

19

27

1:15.1323

5

8

107.235

2:04:06.5950

Chevy

P

393

Arrow McLaren SP

5

Christian Lundgaard

95

50.8901

1:19.2576

15.3579

3

66

18

25

1:15.4218

 

16

106.823

2:04:21.9529

Honda

P

323

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

6

Scott McLaughlin

95

56.1091

1:18.7756

5.2190

4

71

0

54

1:15.0964

 

7

107.286

2:04:27.1719

Chevy

P

510

Team Penske

7

Romain Grosjean

95

57.9853

1:21.8137

1.8762

3

68

15

70

1:15.1667

 

4

107.186

2:04:29.0481

Honda

A

328

Andretti Autosport

8

Pato O'Ward

95

59.9521

1:16.8286

1.9668

4

85

4

88

1:13.8486

 

5

109.099

2:04:31.0149

Chevy

A

480

Arrow McLaren SP

9

Marcus Ericsson

95

62.6247

1:17.9403

2.6726

4

73

6

13

1:14.7909

 

9

107.724

2:04:33.6875

Honda

P

506

Chip Ganassi Racing

10

Alexander Rossi

95

65.3231

1:19.0539

2.6984

4

67

5

5

1:14.5362

 

3

108.092

2:04:36.3859

Honda

P

381

Andretti Autosport

11

Colton Herta

95

67.6483

1:18.1845

2.3252

4

67

0

12

1:14.2959

 

18

108.442

2:04:38.7111

Honda

P

381

Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian

12

Scott Dixon

95

67.9752

1:18.1641

0.3269

4

70

0

54

1:14.8945

 

13

107.575

2:04:39.0380

Honda

P

521

Chip Ganassi Racing

13

David Malukas

94

1 LAPS

1:18.4348

22.0580

4

66

6

13

1:15.0194

 

6

107.396

2:03:42.9319

Honda

P

305

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

14

Rinus VeeKay

94

1 LAPS

1:18.7320

0.8496

4

67

0

50

1:14.3745

 

14

108.327

2:03:43.7815

Chevy

P

331

Ed Carpenter Racing

15

Devlin DeFrancesco

94

1 LAPS

1:18.6235

5.4576

3

68

0

21

1:15.6736

 

20

106.468

2:03:49.2391

Honda

P

206

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

16

Jimmie Johnson

94

1 LAPS

1:19.4149

8.6239

5

72

0

11

1:15.1378

 

23

107.227

2:03:57.8630

Honda

P

214

Chip Ganassi Racing

17

Simon Pagenaud

94

1 LAPS

1:18.8608

0.4442

4

74

0

21

1:15.3388

 

10

106.941

2:03:58.3072

Honda

P

314

Meyer Shank Racing

18

Graham Rahal

94

1 LAPS

1:17.7453

0.2226

4

80

2

19

1:14.7646

 

19

107.762

2:03:58.5298

Honda

P

345

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

19

Helio Castroneves

94

1 LAPS

1:18.6897

2.3636

4

72

0

11

1:15.3848

 

12

106.876

2:04:00.8934

Honda

P

263

Meyer Shank Racing

20

Jack Harvey

94

1 LAPS

1:19.8420

15.7484

5

73

1

21

1:15.4993

 

21

106.714

2:04:16.6418

Honda

A

209

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

21

Kyle Kirkwood

94

1 LAPS

1:19.8151

0.3851

4

70

12

22

1:15.7422

 

17

106.371

2:04:17.0269

Chevy

P

183

AJ Foyt Enterprises

22

Simona De Silvestro

94

1 LAPS

1:19.6576

4.7839

4

68

4

21

1:15.4914

 

26

106.725

2:04:21.8108

Chevy

P

34

Paretta Autosport

23

Takuma Sato

94

1 LAPS

1:19.5515

24.7101

3

67

21

19

1:16.1219

 

22

105.841

2:04:46.5209

Honda

P

258

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

24

Conor Daly

93

2 LAPS

1:19.1773

10.8005

6

72

73

5

1:15.7820

 

15

106.315

2:03:37.7699

Chevy

A

267

Ed Carpenter Racing

25

Dalton Kellett

93

2 LAPS

1:20.4984

54.7478

3

67

73

20

1:16.2063

 

24

105.724

2:04:32.5177

Chevy

P

133

AJ Foyt Enterprises

26

Callum Ilott

37

Mechanical

1:17.6769

2.0634

1

16

109

8

1:14.8372

1

2

107.658

47:29.8764

Chevy

P

219

Juncos Hollinger Racing

 

Related Stories
IndyCar Laguna Seca: Palou wins race, Power is champion
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou scored a brilliant win from 11th on the grid at the Laguna Seca finale, while Will Power took third to land his second IndyCar championship.
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Laguna Seca IndyCar: Palou leads second practice
Alex Palou set the pace in second practice for IndyCar's finale, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, ahead of the outgoing champion’s final attempt to score a win in 2022.
IndyCar Laguna Seca: Palou leads second practice from Rossi
Alex Palou set the pace in second practice for IndyCar's finale at Laguna Seca ahead of the outgoing champion’s final attempt to score a win in 2022.
Laguna Seca IndyCar: Power takes 68th pole, title rivals struggle
Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power scored his record-breaking 68th pole just when he needed it most, while his prime title rivals Scott Dixon will start mid-grid and Josef Newgarden will start last after spinning out.
Laguna Seca IndyCar: Palou heads McLaughlin in warm-up
Alex Palou topped race day warm-up for the 2022 IndyCar finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, ahead of Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin.
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
IndyCar Laguna Seca: Power takes record 68th pole as title rivals falter
Will Power scored a record-breaking 68th IndyCar pole for the 2022 finale at Laguna Seca, while main title rivals Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden both dropped out early in qualifying.