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Pato O'Ward out-duels Josef Newgarden at Texas to grab first career IndyCar win

Pato O’Ward out-duels Josef Newgarden at Texas to grab first career IndyCar win

May 2, 2021
Click here to view original web page at www.msn.com

FORT WORTH, Texas — Four races so far, each with a different winner – the type of chaos fitting for IndyCar’s XPEL 375 Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in… – Jerome Miron-USA […]

Click here to view original web page at www.msn.com


FORT WORTH, Texas — Four races so far, each with a different winner – the type of chaos fitting for IndyCar’s XPEL 375 Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

  • Slide 1 of 28: May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O'Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in victory lane after he wins the Xpel 375 IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O'Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in... - Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
  • Slide 3 of 28: May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O'Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in victory lane after he wins the Xpel 375 IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O'Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in... - Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
  • Slide 4 of 28: May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O'Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in victory lane after he wins the Xpel 375 IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O'Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in... - Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With 23 laps to go, Pato O’Ward landed a Turn 3 pass on the race leader Josef Newgarden, and all of a sudden the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP car took off, never to be seen again. The Mexican driver, who with Sunday’s win sealed an early birthday present ahead of turning 22 on Thursday, crossed the line 1.2443 seconds ahead of the Team Penske driver. With his finish, Newgarden landed the winless Team Penske squad’s fourth consecutive runner-up finish to start 2021.

a screenshot of a video game: May 2, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O'Ward (5) of Mexico celebrates in victory lane after he wins the Xpel 375 IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway.

For O’Ward, it was a breath of fresh air and he crossed the line, followed immediately by a yell through his radio. After 26 races in his still-young IndyCar career, which included three runner-up finishes and five total podiums, he secured his first-ever IndyCar win – surprising even himself with that win coming on an oval.

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“I feel great. These guys deserve it. We finally got this win,” O’Ward said post-race. “We’ve been very close and knocking on the door, and when they finally let me loose, I said, ‘Let’s go for it.’”

Added runner-up Newgarden after the race: “I don’t know what it was. His Chevy was a bit better than my Chevy. We just didn’t have the speed at the end. I don’t know what was causing that, but we’ll figure it out. Still, a great job, and really proud of the team.”

Graham Rahal completed the podium in 3rd after leading 13 laps in the middle of the race after an impressive on-track overtake of Saturday’s winner Scott Dixon, who ended up in fourth with his fourth consecutive top-5 to start the year. Dixon maintained his hold on the series championship lead, still ahead by 22 points.

More coverage from IndyCar's Texas doubleheader:

Colton Herta, after finishing 22nd on Saturday, took 5th, with Simon Pagenaud (6th), Alex Palou (7th), Scott McLaughlin (8th), Rinus VeeKay (9th) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (10th) rounding out the top-10.

Early chaos that came simultaneously as the green flag flew to start Sunday’s race marred the race weekend, taking out six cars in the 24-entry field before completing a single lap. The massive crash, multiple drivers told IndyStar, seemed to be caused by a slow start that sent ripple effects through the 12 rows of the grid.

The Green flag is out after this incident early in the race involving multiple cars brought out the yellow flag.

�: NBCSN - https://t.co/9qb2zSIL83

— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) May 2, 2021

The original contact came as Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s Pietro Fittipaldi drove into the back of Sebastien Bourdais, who was starting directly in front of him one row ahead. The contact sprawled both cars across the track, gathering Ed Jones, Dalton Kellett, Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly – flipping Daly’s No. 59 Carlin Chevy upside down where it slid on the aeroscreen past the start-finish line.

Additionally, Tony Kanaan’s Chip Ganassi Racing Honda had to pit immediately after to replace the Brazilian driver’s front wing. James Hinchcliffe, who managed to drive through the chaos apparently unscathed, came into the pits soon after for repairs. The No. 29 car came back out on track but eventually had to bow out after running 30 laps total.

After running in the top-5 nearly all day, Jack Harvey left the race on Lap 117 with smoke coming out of the right rear of his car, which, with a closer view, appeared to be a wheel bearing fire. That brought out the day’s second yellow flag, and was followed by a third on Lap 190 when the right rear of Felix Rosenqvist’s No. 7 Chevy came off on-track.

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Email IndyStar motor sports reporter Nathan Brown at nlbrown@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @By_NathanBrown.

  • Slide 1 of 31: A checkered flag waves in the breeze during practice for the IndyCar Harvest GP, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Thursday, October 1, 2020.
    A checkered flag waves in the breeze during practice for the IndyCar Harvest GP, at the Indianapolis... - Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Pato O'Ward out-duels Josef Newgarden at Texas to grab first career IndyCar win

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