After winning the Detroit GP with his Arrow McLaren SP, Patricio O'Ward is the new NTT IndyCar championship leader.
Detroit spectators saw a terrific drive for Pato O’Ward this Sunday June 13th. After starting from the back at 16th position on the grid he won race 2 and now is championship leader.
During a restart with seven laps remaining, O’Ward was fifth, with seven laps still to go. Nevertheless, the 22-year-old Mexican driver picked off Graham Rahal in the last corner, then Alex Palou in the next one for two passes on the first two turns. Then, after passing Colton Herta for second position, O’Ward had his eyes on grabbing what was about to be an easy victory for Josef Newgarten away from the two-time IndyCar champion.
Battling wheel-to-wheel with Josef Newgarten, O'Ward finally completed the pass with just over two laps still remaining to the end of the race.
Newgarten was obviously very disappointed after the race and could not hide his frustration with the final result after starting from the pole position on the grid leading 67 of the 70 laps before Pato ran him down and dropped him to second-place end.
O’Ward decicated the victory to his teammate Felix Rosenqvist, who had a in the Saturday's first race of the doubleheader and was hospitalized overnight.
“I talked to Felix this morning, I told him: I am gonna win it for ya, this is for him”
O’Ward dedicated the victory to his teammate r NTT IndyCar Series race weekends since 2013.
(Team Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) won race one on Saturday with Rinus Veekay (Team Ed Carpenter Racing) in second position followed by Pato O’Ward in third (Team Arrow McLAren). The 2.35-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit on Detroit's Belle Isle presents numerous challenges to drivers -- from hard braking zones to speedy straights. The same areas are ripe for overtaking, 70 Laps, 146 miles.
The young O’Ward savored his first career victory last month at Texas Motor Speedway, took a one point lead over Alex Palou in the championship stands. With Sunday’s victory under his belt he now has both a circuit and an oval win, this weekend being a two day podium for him at Detroit.
After the podium ceremony, following the tradition, O’Ward took off his racing shoes and dove into the James Scott Memorial Fountain for the joy of the fans who all got together on the side of the park landmark.