Marcus Ericsson Wins Eventful Detroit Race

The race was red flagged on Lap 28, following a vicious shunt by Arrow McLaren SP driver Felix Rosenqvist. (Photo Credit: Luis Torres/TPF)

By all means, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson leapt at an opportunity.

Indeed, once Will Power’s No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet failed to re-fire on pit road during the second and final red flag period, Marcus Ericsson capitalized in the waning laps.

In fact, Marcus Ericsson, who secured the lead, held off Rinus VeeKay and Pato O’Ward for his first career NTT IndyCar Series victory.

The caution came out with six laps remaining when Romain Grosjean got into the wall and damaged the front wing. Instead of ending the 70-lap race under caution, IndyCar threw the red flag, in hopes of finishing the race under green.

Most importantly, Marcus Ericsson, who won Race 1 at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, stood on the top step of the podium since July 6, 2013. Similarly, Ericsson won a GP2 Feature Race at Nurburgring driving for DAMS:

On Lap 28, Felix Rosenqvist experienced a massive shunt that brought out the first red flag of the race.

In Turn 6, an apparent stuck throttle sent Rosenqvist straight into the tire barriers. Resultingly, Rosenqvist’s crash damaged the wall and catch fence. In that case, the AMR Safety Team arrived quickly, extracting Rosenqvist from his wrecked No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.

Accordingly, Rosenqvist was removed from the car, placed onto a stretcher, into the ambulance and taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

Dr. Geoffrey Billows, IndyCar’s director of medical services, told NBC that Rosenqvist never lost consciousness, felt sore but was totally stable the entire time:

Several hours after the checkered flag, in a statement, Dr. Billows provided an update on Rosenqvist’s condition:

On social media, Rosenqvist said he is doing OK but his body is feeling sore. All in all, he thanked everyone for sending him well wishes and the IndyCar medical staff for taking care of him after the crash.

Late Saturday night, Arrow McLaren SP announced Oliver Askew will replace Rosenqvist in the No. 7 Chevrolet in Race 2. With this in mind, Askew drove for the same team last year before parting ways.

Power Robbed

All Will Power had to do was re-fire the car on pit road and hold off the rivals behind him to win Race 1 in Detroit. Unfortunately, the car failed to do the easy part. A dejected, frustrated Power sat in the car as the crew frantically tried to get him going again as he watched every rival pass him on pit road.

To say the least, Saturday was a day to forget for Will Power. (Photo Credit: Matt Fraver/INDYCAR)

The team was able to get the car re-fired, but the damage had already been done. After leading a total of 37 laps in the 70-lap street race, Power had to settle for a disappointing 20th-place result in Race 1. Power will look to rebound in Race 2.

Newgarden Recovery Drive

Early in the race, Josef Newgarden had a loose wheel and tried to nurse the car back to the pits. The wheel eventually came off. Luckily, it landed in an area off course, avoiding a yellow flag period and out of harm’s way.

Josef Newgarden rebounded from losing his wheel to finish in the top-10 in Race 1. (Photo Credit: Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)

Newgarden fell back through the pack and rallied to salvage a 10th-place finish from what appeared to be a lost day.

Sensor Spoils Johnson’s Day

During a cycle of green flag pit stops, Jimmie Johnson was having a blast mixing it up with his competitors inside the top-15, before running into issues and losing power. Johnson told NBC his No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda had a sensor failure in the throttle. The team lost multiple laps in the pits to fixing the problem.

Jimmie Johnson’s crash course education in IndyCar racing rolls on to the Motor City. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

As a result, the remainder of the race proved to be a long test session for the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, in order to improve his performance in Race 2 on Sunday. In Race 1, Johnson finished 24th, 21 laps down.

Race 2

Entering Detroit Race 1, Alex Palou led the championship by 36 points over Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon. However, as Palou finished 15th on Saturday, his lead shrank to a 15-point advantage over Pato O’Ward, who moves up to second in the standings.

Consequently, Dixon falls to third in the championship. However, the six-time series champion is now 26 points behind. Moreover, the title fight gets a little tighter heading into the second half of the Detroit doubleheader weekend.

After scoring his first career IndyCar win, Marcus Ericsson and Chip Ganassi Racing will look to complete the sweep on Sunday afternoon in Race 2. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

First, qualifying gets underway on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. ET. Then, coverage of Race 2 in Detroit begins at 12 p.m. ET on NBC. In particular, Ericsson seeks his second IndyCar win.

Detroit Race 1 Top-10 Results

Ericsson, VeeKay, O’Ward, Sato, Rahal, Ferrucci, Rossi, Dixon, Jones and Newgarden

Kobe Lambeth

My name is Kobe Lambeth and I am a recent graduate of UNC Charlotte. I received my undergraduate degree in Communication Studies (mass media concentration), with a double minor in Journalism and American Studies. Since 2007, I have developed a strong passion for motorsports. My childhood dream is to work in the motorsports industry for a long time.

In June 2017, my journey began as a freelance journalist and social media specialist for RockinghamNow, covering high school sports and leading a Twitter project. We wanted to provide expanded coverage of high school football throughout the local community. With the use of Twitter, we had a goal of significantly increasing the number of followers on multiple accounts.

At The Podium Finish, my goal is to provide professional motorsports coverage, focusing on series such as NASCAR, IndyCar and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. I'm also the Multimedia Producer at GRID Network.

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