Chip Ganassis Alex Palou snatched victory from Penske’s Josef Newgarden with two laps to go when the polesitter encountered reliability problems.
The Elkhart Lake circuit witnessed a race with countless fights on the track, many of which included wheel-to-wheel contact, incidents and late drama at the front of the field.
When the race resumed after the last caution break, the Spaniard swept outside the two-time series champion, who had problems with an unruly gearbox that refused to shift through the gears when asked.
In the second race in a row, Newgarden led the majority of laps, just to keep the checkered flag win just a handful of laps away, he would eventually finish 23rd as Penske remained without a win in 2021.
Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta would cross the finish line in second, but the 21-year-old had to fight in the highly competitive field to eventually fight his way back to his starting position.
Will Power was able to take his No.12 5G Chevrolet as the best-placed Penske in third place ahead of the omnipresent Scott Dixon, who made up nine places from 13th.
Romain Grosjean was involved in several close fights over the 55 rounds and wasn’t afraid to get his elbows out. The Frenchman’s courage and perseverance would earn him fifth place.
Although Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson issued a warning in the middle of the race after a spin in Turn 2, he was able to use a strategic decision that enabled the Swede to cross the finish line in sixth place.
Alexander Rossi was also one of the riders at the forefront of wheel-to-wheel battles. The Californian drove consistently strong pace and was able to repeat his best result of the season from seventh place.
Takuma Sato was able to pursue an alternate strategy to finish eighth despite a long pit stop to repair the damage after a hit from Conor Daly in the early laps of the race.
Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward had a difficult and combative afternoon in midfield, finishing ninth. With the victory of Palou, the Mexican lost the championship lead and is now 28 points behind him.
Carlin’s Max Chilton secured his best result since Watkins Glen in 2017 when he was able to leave strategy and finish 10th in the number 59 Gallagher.
Oliver Askew covered the injured Rinus VeeKay and would finish twelfth, but only just missed the higher place as the last warning came when he had made his last stop to refuel.
Kevin Magnussen would lead for six laps on his IndyCar debut, replacing the recovering Felix Rosenqvist, but the Dane wouldn’t finish after an engine failure spoiled his afternoon.
IndyCar will be back in action on July 4th at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course.
|#||driver||Time gap||Rounds led||Points|
|1||Alex Palou||01: 50: 55.0534||5||51|
|22nd||Jimmie Johnson||-1 round||–||8th|
|23||Ed Jones||-5 rounds||–||7th|
|24||Kevin Magnussen||-22 rounds||6th||7th|
|25th||Dalton Kellett||-36 rounds||–||5|