IndyCar News | Podium puts Will Power on top of IndyCar points

Will Power rose to the top of the IndyCar Series standings with a meteoric rise to third place in the Gallagher Grand Prix.

The 85-lap affair at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course was won by Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport, who took the lead after his teammate got into trouble.

Starting ninth, Colton Herta took the lead on lap eight as he overtook pole position winner Felix Rosenqvist of McLaren SP.

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Christian Lundgaard (L-R), Alexander Rossi and Will Power celebrate on the podium at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

However, on lap 42 his hopes were dashed when his car suddenly lost control. That gave the lead to Rossi, who took a 3.5 second win over Christian Lundgaard and Power.

It’s the first time Rossi has won an IndyCar Series race since 2019 at Road America.

“It’s a relief, man,” Rossi said.

“It’s been so many things for so long. I feel for Colton, yes, but I’m happy. Fortunately, something happened to us.

“I just want to pay tribute to Andretti Autosport and their continued belief. There has been so much belief for so long, it’s good to finally be able to fulfill it.”

From pole position, Rosenqvist led the field into the first corner. Behind him, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden threatened to take first place as he dropped from fifth to third.

Drama hit Rosenqvist’s teammate Pato O’Ward at turn two after he, Power and Herta went to three. O’Ward fell to the back of the pack, the clash was ruled a racing incident.

Starting fourth on the grid, Power had to slow to avoid contact with O’Ward and duly dropped to 11th by the end of the first lap.

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This was made worse on lap two when a daring dive by Meyer Shank Racing driver Helio Castroneves split Power and Dale Coyne Racing’s David Malukas with HMD, forcing the Aussie to check and drop to 16th.

David Malukas (left), Helio Castroneves and Will Power are pressed into turn seven (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The full course warning would come out on lap three when AJ Foyt Racing driver Dalton Kellett slammed into the side of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jimmie Johnson. Power took the opportunity to go under yellow, receiving a fresh set of tires and fuel.

The race resumed on lap six with Rosenqvist leading the pack. Second-placed Rossi bombed the leader on the restart but overshot the first corner and lost to Herta.

Herta continued their charge, passing Rosenqvist for the lead on lap eight. Rossi and Lundgaard were quick to pounce as well and were quickly blasted by the Swede.

Herta entered the pits on lap 14 for its first stop with Rossi and Rosenqvist in tow. Scott McLaughlin, who had been on a tear from 15th on the grid, took the lead through a long run on his first set of tyres, but came to a halt on lap 23.

With various strategies in play, Power took the lead on lap 25 ahead of O’Ward and Takuma Sato who had all pitted under yellow earlier in the race. Herta was the effective leader in fourth position followed by Rossi and Lundgaard on the same strategy.

Will Power finished third in the Gallagher Grand Prix (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With his first pit stop, McLaughlin dropped back to seventh followed by teammate Newgarden. On lap 32, Power and O’Ward came to a halt, allowing Herta to regain their 1.9 second lead over Rossi.

The second yellow flag intervention of the day came when Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud ran out of fuel on lap 36.

It was a blessing in disguise for Power who, having just finished his pitstop, surged forward as the lion’s share of the field stopped to avoid being run dry by caution.

Once everyone was in the pits, Herta was ahead of Rossi, Lundgaard then Power. Johnson finished fifth but was on much older tires having last pitted 10 laps earlier. Ed Carpenter Racing’s McLaughlin, Newgarden, O’Ward, Sato and Rinus VeeKay rounded out the top 10.

After the race resumed just before the halfway point, a cruel stroke of bad luck befell race leader Herta on lap 42 when his engine started to coast and lost power. He returned to the pit lane, avoiding a full course warning, although that marked the end of his day.

After the final pit cycle was completed, Rossi held a 2.5 second lead over Lundgaard. Power was a distant third, about six seconds behind, while McLaughlin and Newgarden were fourth and fifth.

These locations would remain the same until the checkered flag. In the end, Rossi checked and crossed the line to earn his first win of the season.

With second place, Lundgaard recorded his first IndyCar Series podium.

Third for Power, he took the points lead, who now tops 11th-placed Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing by nine points.

McLaughlin was fourth, Newgarden fifth and VeeKay sixth. Graham Rahal finished seventh while Scott Dixon kept his title hopes on track with a quiet run from 20th to eighth. Rosenqvist and Palou complete the top 10.

The IndyCar series continues next weekend with the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville.

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