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Friday, December 2, 2022
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Pato O’Ward Captures Victory in Race 2 of IndyCar’s Doubleheader at Iowa

Pato O'Ward at Iowa
Pato O’Ward delivered with a clean victory in the second race of the doubleheader at Iowa. Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

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Pato O’Ward put in a steady drive and collected victory in the second race of the doubleheader weekend at Iowa Speedway.

The 23-year-old Mexican took the lead off pit road on Lap 239 of 300 and never looked back, with his No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet winning the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 by 4.2476s over Team Penske’s Will Power. The win comes after finishing runner-up in Race 1 on Saturday. Additionally, it marks his second win of the 2022 season for O’Ward, and fourth of his NTT IndyCar Series career.

Power, who started the race on pole and led 80 laps, it was the second podium result of the weekend; with Sunday’s runner-up one position better than Saturday. Power was joined by teammate Scott McLaughlin, who rebounded from a loose wheel and lowly 22nd-place finish in Race 1 to grab the third and final podium spot in Race 2.

Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon ended up fourth, leading a Chip Ganassi Racing train that also saw teammates Jimmie Johnson and Marcus Ericsson finish fifth and sixth, respectively. For Johnson, driver of the No. 48 CGR Honda, the result marks his first-ever top five finish in the NTT IndyCar Series; his previous best finish was sixth at Texas Motor Speedway in March.

The No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Felix Rosenqvist, who crashed out of Race 1, delivered a strong bounce-back drive to finish seventh.

David Malukas scored top rookie honors in the race, placing the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda in eighth. He finished ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean in ninth.

Takuma Sato was a consistent mover throughout the top 10 during much of the day and managed to come away with 10th in the No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda.

Rookie Callum Ilott ended up putting the No. 77 Juncos Racing Hollinger Chevrolet 11th,  followed by Colton Herta’s No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda, which endured an engine change and incurred a nine-place grid penalty for Race 2, in 12th.

Reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou was 13th, with Graham Rahal and rookie Devlin DeFrancesco finishing out the rest of the top 15.

There were a couple cautions on the day, with the first happening on Lap 120 after rookie Kyle Kirkwood’s No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet found the outside wall in Turn 2. The 2021 Indy Lights champion was forced into high line in three-wide situation after Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay attempted to fight to un-lap himself from then-leader Josef Newgarden. The outcome put Kirkwood in the marbles and with no grip, leaving him to helplessly hit the outside wall before drifting across the track and coming to a stop against the inside wall off the exit of Turn 2. Kirkwood finished 25th.

While that incident triggered the first caution, which ended Newgarden and Power’s reign of terror of lapping the field up to sixth-place, the most impactful caution came on Lap 231. It was then that the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet of Newgarden, who won Saturday’s Race 1, was leading and setting off for a possible weekend sweep when the rear of his car abruptly snapped and sent him spinning into the outside barrier of Turn 4.

Newgarden led a race-high 148 laps, but the crash relegated him to a 24th-place finish.

That caution set up the late pit stop sequence, where O’Ward took advantage and vaulted into the lead for the final time.

 

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