Palou steals Road America win as Newgarden suffers late race heartbreak

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou remained patient and got his rewards as he took victory in the NTT Indycar Series, REV Group Grand Prix of Road America to take the championship lead away from Pato O’Ward.

The Spaniard made some bold moves to get up to second but he never looked likely to overtake long-time race leader Josef Newgarden, until the Team Penske Chevrolet went into emergency mode for the final two lap sprint following a late caution which ended the American’s hopes of victory.

Heartbreak for Newgarden, and Penske’s winless run continuing, was Palou’s gain as he is now 28 points clear of O’Ward in the championship.

Newgarden would eventually finish 21st, giving him a mountain to climb if he wants to earn a third championship title.

Colton Herta had a steady race but made moves when it mattered to take home second for Andretti Autosport while Penske did get a driver on the podium as Will Power redeemed himself after his Detroit nightmare.

Scott Dixon was stuck in the midfield for most of the race but as he always does, he and Ganassi found a way to make up places and finish fourth to keep building his points tally heading into the second half of the year.

Former Formula One drivers Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson were a solid fifth and sixth over the line, Ericsson especially did supremely well to recover from a caution-causing spin to ensure Ganassi had three cars in the top six.

Alexander Rossi finally had an incident-free run as he came home seventh ahead of Takuma Sato who made some big late race moves after a bold strategy call gave him much fresher tyres for the final sprint to the flag.

O’Ward was overtaken by Sato on the last lap so finished ninth for Arrow McLaren SP while Max Chilton gave Carlin their best run for a long time on a road course in tenth, benefitting from the same strategy gamble as Sato.

Dalton Kellett had big mechanical problems all race and never really got going while Kevin Magnussen, who led his first Indycar laps after staying out under a mid-race yellow, also had technical gremlins that caused him to retire.

The last caution was thrown after Ed Jones had a failure on his Dale Coyne Racing car and he failed to see the flag while Jimmie Johnson also had a spin but he made it to the end, albeit a lap down.

Pos. Name Team Laps/Gap
1 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 55 Laps
2 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport +1.910
3 Will Power Team Penske +2.985
4 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing +3.904
5 Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing +4.713
6 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing +5.180
7 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport +7.721
8 Takuma Sato RLL +7.914
9 Pato O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP +9.024
10 Max Chilton Carlin +9.373
11 Graham Rahal RLL +9.802
12 Oliver Askew Ed Carpenter Racing +11.301
13 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport +11.937
14 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske +12.193
15 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport +13.947
16 Sebastien Bourdais A.J Foyt Enterprises +14.116
17 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing +15.594
18 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske +16.461
19 Cody Ware Dale Coyne Racing +16.993
20 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing +17.555
21 Josef Newgarden Team Penske +90.789
22 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing +1 Lap
23 Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing DNF (Damage)
24 Kevin Magnussen Arrow McLaren SP DNF (Mechanical)
25 Dalton Kellett A.J Foyt Enterprises DNF (Mechanical)