Pato O’Ward of Mexico became the NTT IndyCar Series’ first multiple winner of the season Sunday by capturing the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2 at Belle Isle Park.
O’Ward passed Josef Newgarden, who started in the pole position, and led the final three laps of the street-course race. He won by a 6.7595-second margin over Newgarden, who led for the other 67 laps. Alex Palou of Spain finished third in the 164.5-mile race.
With his second victory, O’Ward, who drives the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, moved to the top of the points standings, one point ahead of Palou.
Throughout the day, O’Ward’s mind was on an injured Arrow McLaren teammate. Felix Rosenqvist of Sweden crashed into a wall Saturday night at Belle Isle Park in the first race of the weekend and was hospitalized.
“I talked to Felix this morning and the important thing is that he’s OK, but I told him ‘I’m going to win it for you,'” O’Ward told reporters. “I’m a man of my word. I wanted to get it done for him.”
O’Ward, 22, started the race in 16th position.
Colton Herta and Graham Rahal rounded out the top five, with Will Power of Australia coming behind them in sixth.
O’Ward’s first win of the season came May 2 at Texas Motor Speedway, which was his first career victory. Seven different drivers won the first seven races of the 2021 series before Sunday.
Romain Grosjean of France experienced a brake fire and tried to put it out by himself. The fire led to a caution flag late in the race. Grosjean escaped a fiery crash in a Formula One race in Bahrain last November.
The IndyCar Series returns June 20 at the Rev Group Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
–Field Level Media