Formula 1 Racing

McLaughlin outduels Grosjean for Alabama GP victory · RaceFans

McLaughlin outduels Grosjean for Alabama GP victory · RaceFans

In a rematch of their season-opening battle for victory, Scott McLaughlin pounced on a mistake from race leader Romain Grosjean to take victory in the Alabama Indy Grand Prix.

For much of Sunday afternoon’s race it looked Grosjean finally would take his first win in the series. From pole position, Grosjean controlled the opening stint and kept McLaughlin behind him during the middle stages, running on a conventional two-stop strategy.

McLaughlin, who started fourth, opted for the more aggressive three-stop strategy and then gained track position after his second stop, just before the Safety Car came out for Sting Ray Robb’s stranded vehicle breaking down out of turn eight.

Grosjean made his final pit stop on lap 60 and appeared to have plenty of push-to-pass available for the final stages, but he burned through it rapidly in an attempt to stay ahead of McLaughlin once the Penske driver made his last stop four laps later.

While McLaughlin was able to come out of the pits ahead of Grosjean, the Andretti driver was able to muscle his way past for the net lead with an aggressive dive into the final left-hand corner.

But on lap 72, Grosjean ran wide through the left-hander ‘Charlotte’s Web’ (turns six and seven) which gave McLaughlin an opening he did not hesitate to drive through. He completed his pass on Grosjean for the lead into the turn eight complex with ease.

From there McLaughlin drove away to capture his fourth career IndyCar win and his first at Barber Motorsports Park.

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Grosjean, who led 57 out of 90 laps today, held off a hard-charging Will Power for second place. The former Formula 1 racer took his fifth runner-up finish in IndyCar, and second in as many races after he finished behind Kyle Kirkwood in the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Two-time and defending IndyCar champion Power had to settle for third, with Pato O’Ward finishing a distant fourth and prevailing after a late pursuit from Alex Palou in fifth.

Christian Lundgaard had his best result of the season, finishing sixth, and making some strong moves of his own early in the race. Scott Dixon came home in seventh place, ahead of the McLaren drivers Alexander Rossi and Felix Rosenqvist in eighth and ninth respectively.

Marcus Ericsson holds on to his lead in the IndyCar points standings with a 10th place finish, ahead of Marcus Armstrong, the highest-finishing rookie, who charged from 26th to 11th. Three-time Barber race winner Josef…

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