Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson gets first IndyCar win at Detroit

Marcus Ericsson driving the Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing celebrates winning the NTT INDYCar Series Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Saturday, June 12, 2021, on Belle Isle in Detroit . Grand Prix

Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson came through with an unpredictable win in Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual at Detroit to earn his first career series victory Saturday thanks to a late-race caution, a rival’s mishap and some canny driving at the Belle Isle race course.

When race leader Will Power’s car failed to answer the bell on a late round of pit stops under a red flag, Ericsson assumed the lead and held on as Belgium’s Rinus VeeKay and Mexico’s Pato O’Ward rolled up to challenge over the final three laps. They finished second and third, respectively.

“For once, things fell my way,” Ericsson said after the race. “It feels really good. For Will, I feel really bad for him with the way it ended for him. He did a tremendous job today. But it was my day today, and it was about time.”

A Formula One veteran, Ericsson also is the seventh different winner in the first seven races this season, something that hasn’t happened since 2017 and a rarity in more than a century in the series, with five previous occurrences. He joins Alex Palou, O’Ward and VeeKay as first-time winners this season.

Takuma Sato of Japan finished fourth, with Graham Rahal rolling in fifth.

Power, who had a dominant car most of the day, suffered an apparent Electronic Control Unit (ECU) failure on the late pit stop, and while it was replaced quickly, the dejected driver finished 20th, three laps down.

The race was delayed by a red flag for an hour and 16 minutes at Lap 25 when Felix Rosenqvist’s throttle may have stuck open in Turn 6, and he crashed hard into a tire barrier and a concrete barrier.

Rosenqvist was extracted from the car and the barriers were fixed before racing resumed.

Rosenqvist was taken to the infield care center and then a local hospital, but was conscious, alert and talking according to NTT Data IndyCar officials.

–Field Level Media