IndyCar newsflash: Penske home win after Nashville fiasco

IndyCar newsflash: Penske home win after Nashville fiasco
Joe Skibinski

Will Power wins on Penske turf in Indianapolis ahead of Romain Grosjean and Colton Herta – Alex Palou retires after engine failure and concedes points advantage – Christian Lundgaard races into top 15 on debut

Despite two late caution periods that Penske driver Will Power had to endure, the Australian won in front of the eyes of team and track owner Roger Penske at their home race. The 2014 champion celebrated his first win of 2021 ahead of the again strong Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing), with Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport) in third place. Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) and Patricio O’Ward (McLaren SP) completed the top five.

While Power and Herta managed to correct their faux pas from Nashville, Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing) had to swallow a bitter pill. The championship leader – who had been running in the top 5 until then – lost valuable points to his rivals after an engine failure. However, Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), who finished twelfth on his IndyCar debut, was a happy man.

Power makes up for Nashville upset

After the disappointment in the Music City a week ago, Power showed his best side in Indianapolis. In Nashville, the 40-year-old had contributed significantly to the red flag and had spun two of his team-mates out of the race. But in front of the eyes of his team boss, Power ensured the second Penske victory of the 2021 season with a dominant performance. At the same time, Power advanced to become the ninth different winner of the current season.

Can Palou hold the lead until the end of the season after engine drama?

Palou, who currently holds the aces to win the first ever IndyCar title for a Spaniard, suffered a major setback in Indianapolis. With 17 laps to go, the Spaniard’s Honda power unit failed and with it any chance of adding to his own points tally. 

The youngster is still 21 points ahead of second-placed O’Ward and a further 13 points ahead of team-mate Scott Dixon. But before the final four races, the two-time season winner’s lead has melted down considerably. 

Lundgaard convinces on debut

The son of the former WRC driver Henrik Lundgaard marked a very strong result on his debut with fourth place on the qualifying grid. Due to his inexperience with tyre management, the 20-year-old “only” finished the race in twelfth place. Nevertheless, the Dane – who had even been suffering from food poisoning the night before the race – was convincing all along on his debut.

13th race of the season takes place on the last oval of the year

On the night of 21-22 August, the final oval race of the current season is scheduled at World Wide Technology Raceway (formerly Gateway International Raceway). 

The start of the night race on the 1.25-mile circuit is scheduled for 2:40 am (CET).

Chris Liemann