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Will Power Blasts Back Into Form, Wins At Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - For the first time in two years and four days, Team Penske’s Will Power made his long-awaited return to NTT IndyCar Series Victory Lane in the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America. 


The two-time IndyCar champion was winless since the 2022 Chevrolet Grand Prix in Detroit, which ended a winning streak that lasted for 16 consecutive seasons. The driver of the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet fought off teammates Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin after staying out on track longer to successfully execute the overcut strategy.


“It’s a massively special win,” Power said. “We’ve worked hard to get a win. Last year was very stressful. Half my mind at home, half at the track. It’s very difficult to perform at a high level here.” 


When Power mentioned half of his mind being at home, he was referring to the health scare involving his wife, Liz. She suffered a nearly fatal staph infection in early 2023. 


Over a year later, Liz was able to join her husband in Victory Lane after everything they had been through together as a family.

The Aussie’s win makes it his second at Road America since the series returned in 2016, and leaves the 4.048-mile road course as the new championship points leader. Power is only five points ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou.


On The Steps

Right on Will Power’s heels was teammate Josef Newgarden. The fellow Team Penske driver was involved in a massive 95G crash on Saturday during qualifying, which forced the team to move to a spare car. 


However, the driver of the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet argues that the car was not the deciding factor. 


“I think that at Team Penske, certainly me, I’m not ever concerned if we have to build up a new car,” Newgarden said. “This team I think is the best as far as putting another car on track, and it’s going to be the exact same thing.” 

For Newgarden and Power, the race was won in the pits. Stuck in lapped traffic, Newgarden elected to stop earlier than his teammate, giving Power a lead that he was never able to recover from. 


“It’s all part of IndyCar racing,” Newgarden said. “You got to sort of manage the situation. I felt like I didn’t make the right call there. We could have kept going and we should have. So when you go for the undercut, that’s what happens, we got burned at the end.”


Rounding out the podium was Scott McLaughlin. The driver of the No. 3 XPEL Chevrolet led the opening laps and remained upfront throughout the race. 


His third-place finish paved the way for his teammates to give “The Captain” his first podium sweep since the 2017 season finale at Sonoma Raceway. 


“Ultimately it’s a huge day, really proud,” McLaughlin said. “A good reward for the team, but ultimately still work to do. Just proud to get a podium at the XPEL Grand Prix in the XPEL car.”


Outside The Podium

A miracle run for Linus Lundqvist did not go far, due to early contact with Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Marcus Armstrong. 


After the rookie driver earned his first career pole position in IndyCar, Lundqvist’s No. 8 American Legion Honda got turned around by Armstrong, sending both Ganassi young guns to the back of the field early on.

Lundqvist recovered to finish 12th, while Armstrong was down the order in 26th.


This was only the beginning of issues that would put a damper on the Ganassi stable’s day in Wisconsin. Kyffin Simpson, who was defending his position entering the final corner, got punted by fellow rookie Christian Rasmussen, sending the Barbados-born driver flying into the Turn 14 wall.

 

Next, six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon was next on the list after being forced to pit while running in the top 10 with a puncture.


Simpson stayed behind the wall for the remainder of the race, while Dixon returned to finish 21st after stalling in the pits. Alex Palou was the highest-finishing Ganassi driver in fourth place. 


Despite being involved in the Lap 1 chaos, Colton Herta finished sixth in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda, just behind Andretti Global teammate Kyle Kirkwood. A ninth-place finish from Marcus Ericsson meant all three Andretti Hondas finished in the top 10. 


“I'm not happy with sixth place with the car that we had and the pace that we had,” Herta said. “We had a little bit of damage from the incidents and that did make it harder to get back up there. But, because of our strategy, we were able to go so much longer on fuel and get so much more clean air that it just kind of worked in our favor.


"It's disappointing for everybody on a weekend that I feel like we could have won. It's disappointing for our team, and for Honda, that we aren't at least on the podium.”


GRID Ranking

The 2024 GRID Ranking is the eighth year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 7.


The official ranking includes drivers that participate in seven racing series (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP), and each driver earns GRID Ratings, which help determine their seeding in the GRID Ranking.


GRID Ranking Week 10 INDYCAR Drivers:

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

Will Power

11.73

T-21st

1st

14.04

8th

Alex Palou

13.73

9th

4th

13.91

9th

Scott Dixon

15.12

7th

21st

13.23

13th

Scott McLaughlin

N/A

N/A

3rd

9.32

30th

Pato O'Ward

8.95

31st

8th

8.64

32nd

After a much-needed bye week, the NTT IndyCar Series returns on Sunday, June 23 for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on USA Network.


Results: 2024 XPEL Grand Prix at Road America

2024 XPEL Grand Prix at Road America Results.

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