Power Wins Again on the IMS Road Course

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After a span of about ten and a half months, Will Power is finally back in the win column. After a very disappointing 2021 season that saw Will Power enter the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix eleventh in points and winless after earning only two podiums on the season, Power showed his mastery of the 2.439 mile IMS road course with a 1.1142 second win over Romain Grosjean.

Power started second, next to pole-sitter Pato O’Ward. But O’Ward admitted after the race that he had a good qualifying car, but not a good race car and he finished fifth. Surprisingly, O’Ward said after the race that he was happy he didn’t end up on the podium, because they didn’t deserve it.

Power ended up leading fifty-six of the eighty-five laps. This is Power’s fifth win at IMS – four on the road course and one on the oval. He and wife Liz celebrated like it was his first IndyCar win and not his fortieth. (All photos by Susan)

POWER WIN

WILL AND LIZ

After starting tenth, Alexander Rossi finished a very quiet fourth. He battled most of the day with the other pink car of Jack Harvey, who ultimately finished sixth.

The biggest disappointment of the day went to points leader Alex Palou. He started the day with a forty-two point lead and appeared on his way to adding to it. But on Lap 67, it all went terribly wrong as Palou’s engine seemed to let go in Turn Six. Palou finished twenty-seventh and saw his points lead cut in half. He now leads Pato O’Ward by twenty-one points with four races remaining.

The return of Helio Castroneves to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not go as well as his last one. He qualified twenty-third and only finished two spots better at twenty-first.

Once again, I have cursed a driver that I predicted would win. On Friday, I predicted Scott Dixon would win this race and make a big dent in Palou’s championship lead. Dixon had a miserable qualifying effort and started twenty-sixth. He finished seventeenth and fell to third in the championship and trails Palou by thirty-four points. My apologies to the Dixon family.

Colton Herta atoned for his mistake at Nashville and showed patience by finishing third, rather than forcing the issue at the end. Romain Grosjean started third, but finished second on this track for the second time in less than three months. Trackside Online tweeted out an interesting stat, pointing out that even though Grosjean missed the first three oval races of the season, he now trails Team Penske’s Scott McLaughln by only two points for the Rookie of the Year. Grosjean will race on his first-ever oval next week at Gateway, so the next four races will present a fascinating battle for Rookie of the Year.

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Will Power was very candid in the post-race press conference, expressing his views on James Hinchcliffe fighting him as he was about to go a lap down. He was obviously very happy to get his first win of the season, even though it came in mid-August.

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That is going to do it for us this weekend. Our race weekend is over jus a little more than a day after it started. It’s been good being back at IMS less than three months after the Month of May. I will have my usual Random Thoughts post here on Monday, complete with thoughts about the race itself and all of the ancillary things that made this weekend quite a bit different than anything we’ve experienced in May. There will also be a ton of Susan’s photos at the end of Monday’s post, so please check back Monday. Thanks to all of you for following along on such a short IndyCar race weekend.

George Phillips

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