By: Spencer Neff
June 13, 2021
Following a chaotic Saturday and Race 1, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, lined up for another go on the Raceway at Belle Isle. Here’s how the second 70-lap race on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn street circuit in Detroit went.
O’Ward takes second win and points lead
After qualifying 16th in the morning, Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward charged his way through the field and won Race 2 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Dual in Detroit. It is his second win of the season and he is the first repeat winner in 2021. The driver of the No. 5 notched his first win at Texas Motor Speedway on May 2.
O’Ward beat pole sitter Josef Newgarden by 6.7595 seconds after the Team Penske driver led the first 67 laps. He also tied Will Power’s mark from Race 1 in 2014 for furthest back on the grid lane eventual winner has started in a full-length race. During Race 1 in 2015, Carlos Munoz won from 20th in a rain-shortened event.
The Monterrey, Mexico native holds the points lead by 1 over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou, who finished in third. Yesterday, O’Ward finished third to Marcus Ericsson and is the only driver to earn podium finishes in both of this weekend’s events.
Following a heavy crash that left him in a local hospital overnight, O’Ward dedicated the win to his teammate, Felix Rosenqvist.
Although he was cleared and released this morning, the driver of the No. 7 did not participate in Sunday’s race. 2019 Indy Lights Champion Oliver Askew, who drove the entry last year, was tabbed to run the event.
As the second race began, several cars broke loose over the first set of corners. In Turn 3,Max Chilton ran into the back of James Hinchcliffe and lost his front wing. Although the No. 59 was able to continue, the first caution flag of the afternoon was out and the opening four laps were completed under yellow.
Following the Lap 5 restart, Newgarden pulled away from the field, leading the first 20 lap stint before making his first pit stop. While Newgarden held off on the mandatory stint with the alternate (red wall) Firestone racing tires, Herta continued to gain on him, particularly as the No. 26 went to the primary (black wall) tires.
With 17 laps to go, Jimmie Johnson spun in Turn 1 and the No. 48 stalled, prompting the second caution of the afternoon.
Soon after the Lap 59 restart, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR’s Romain Grosjean stalled in Turn 7 after spinning. While his left-front brakes caught fire, the driver of the No. 51 climbed from his car.
After a thrilling restart, O’Ward clawed his way to the lead with four laps to go and walked away to the victory.
Newgarden earns first pole of 2021
Although the season has been full of parity, Team Penske had been notable absent from the win and pole columns.
On Sunday morning, Josef Newgarden changed things. With a best lap of 1m14.1094 (114.156 miles per hour), the 2019 Race 1 winner earned his second pole at the track. With his 12th career pole, Newgarden ties Parnelli Jones for 28th all-time.
Next weekend, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads to Road America for the REV Group Grand Prix. First practice on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin begins at 5:15 p.m. Eastern (4:15 p.m. track local time) on Friday, June 18.
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Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR