The second oval race of the IndyCar season also went to Team Penske. In Texas, Josef Newgarden was in the list of winners.
The initial phase was clearly one Takuma Satowho, coming from pole, dominated the first 60 laps at the top. Just Scott Dixon could halfway match. So on lap 20, just before the first rounding, Sato's advantage was already two seconds and Ryan Hunter-Reay in third place had already over 6 seconds behind. For Josef Newgarden but it was at this time but once backwards. He started from grid position 7 and lost places James Hinchcliffe, Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi, But much bigger problems had Will powerwho is only seventeenth at the age of 17 Takuma Sato could see little in his rearview mirror.
With the first pit stop sequence, the picture changed at the top. Takuma Sato missed the braking point in the pit lane completely and drove on a mechanic. The stop took so long and the due stop-and-go penalty cost more time. With almost four laps behind and in last place, Sato resumed the race. Fortunately, mechanic Chris Welch remained almost unhurt and even helped to get the car back into position. Ryan Hunter-Reay He had been one of the first riders in the pits, and he was able to get through an under-cut of three laps Scott Dixon put past the top.
Ryan Hunter-Reay On lap 114, the sequence of the second pit stops also began. Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden drove to lap 121 and Scott Dixon even until lap 123. These three would probably have been able to finish the race without caution with just one more stop. For Ryan Hunter-Reay the distance was too long and the additional stop would have destroyed all chances for a top placement. At race half time the race was already for Will Power, Ed Carpenter and Felix Rosenqvist destroyed with lap residue. All three had massive problems with the handling and only at power one has managed it still halfway. In 9th place, he was the best placed pilot in the end with lap time. For Felix Rosenqvist and Ed Carpenter only places 12 and 13 jumped out.
In round 135 solved Zach Veach with a slight wall contact output curve 2 and then turn the first yellow phase off. With Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais and Marcus Ericsson The last three riders came to the pits in the lead lap. They did not lose time or positions, so choosing new tires and more fuel was pretty easy. With the restart in lap 142, the sun had completely disappeared behind the stands and the track temperature decreased noticeably. Nevertheless, only the lower line continued to function. Overtaking over the outer line was not really possible. Only in round 164 could Scott Dixon outward against Ryan Hunter-Reay Take the lead. Nine laps later drew Alexander Rossi first to his teammate and then to Scott Dixon past.
Ryan Hunter-Reay had already in lap 179 back to the pits. Driving through without a stop was therefore not possible. Scott Dixon followed on lap 190 and was on the safe side. Meanwhile, took over Josef Newgarden the top and the clean-air did the Penske Chevrolet really well. After a sparkling clean stop on lap 198, Newgarden arrived Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi back to the track. That was Josef Newgarden, more or less coming from nowhere, the first candidate for the race win.
With 40 laps left on the clock, the finale was slowly started. The drivers became more aggressive and with Scott Dixon against Ryan Hunter-Rey and Colton Herta against Simon Pagenaud There were some great overtaking maneuvers. In round 219 lost but James Hinchcliffe, after watching Alexander Rossi had stood in the rounding maneuver against Spencer Pigot, his car. Ryan Hunter-Reay used this caution for his last stop. As a result, he dropped from third place to 10th position. But with new tires, he was still a candidate for a top result.
At the restart wanted Scott Dixon on Josef Newgarden pass, but Newgarden blocked rigorously. Only a few laps later sat Colton Herta to the overtaking maneuver against Scott Dixon on. This time the New Zealander blocked, but Herta did not retreat. He sat next to the reigning champion with two hoops below the white line. There he lost his car and slipped into Dixon. For Scott Dixon It was the third result outside the top-15 within just four races. Only just could Alexander Rossi Dodge the accident car. Behind followed Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal and Santino Ferrucci, With the restart on lap 136, a hot fight for third place went up Graham Rahal against Simon Pagenaud could prevail. Also Santino Ferrucci and Ryan Hunter-Reay could overtake the Frenchman.
By this fight sat down Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi from the rest of the field and made the victory among themselves. Within 14 days and four races chased Alexander Rossi for the third time a Penske driver for the race win. He again delivered a masterful fight and tried everything, but in the end he pulled the short straw again. At the Indy 500, he had to give Simon Pagenaud the lead and last Saturday, as in the previous week, Josef Newgarden, With seven top 5 finishes in nine races Alexander Rossi nevertheless an excellent season.
The whole result can be read on the homepage (PDF) of the IndyCar Series.
In the championship standings Josef Newgarden (367 points) was able to extend his lead over Alexander Rossi (342 points). Indianapolis winner Simon Pagenaud (319 points) follows in third place ahead of Scott Dixon (278 points) and Takuma Sato (272 points). Also Will Power (254 points) suffered a setback in terms of championship in Fort Worth. He's getting closer and closer to Ryan Hunter-Reay (252 points).
After four exciting weeks of four races and qualifying for the 500-mile Indianapolis, the IndyCar Series takes a break. The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America will not be on its way until June 23rd.
(c) Photos: IndyCar Media; Chris Jones, Christopher Owens