For the second IndyCar race in a row, Pato O’Ward discovered himself questioning what may have been.
On the season-opener on the streets of St Petersburg, a difficulty induced his engine to cough and briefly conk out.
In that occasion, it was too little too late as Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson blew by to grab the lead and the win with only a handful of laps remaining.
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Through the newest spherical at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday, an opportunity to problem for the win was taken out of O’Ward’s fingers when Romain Grosjean spun on the penultimate lap.
O’Ward had been operating side-by-side with eventual race winner Josef Newgarden for the very best previous of 5 laps earlier than the incident introduced out the yellow flag.
Having simply slotted in behind Newgarden and setting himself up for a slipstream move, the race was neutralised beneath the management of the protection automobile.
With no overtaking potential, Newgarden took the chequered flag first for Group Penske.
“Come on man!” O’Ward wailed over the radio because the yellow flag was drawn.
“Yeah, kick within the balls, my buddy,” his crew chief replied.
“You had the automobile to win there. Hell of a race. One other helluva level day. Nice job all day, you could not have carried out something completely different there.”
O’Ward congratulated the staff earlier than letting out one other groan.
It was an agonising finish to the 250-lap affair, which at one level noticed the younger Mexican driver lap each automobile as much as second place.
It was his teammate Felix Rosenqvist who ended the run after he crashed out, permitting automobiles that have been down one lap to return to the lead lap.
Regardless of main the factors, O’Ward mentioned he was disillusioned to be the bridesmaid once more.
“I had the timing proper,” mentioned O’Ward.
“The lap earlier than we crossed the road, my nostril was barely in entrance of his.
“There was no method it was going to complete in single file. Yeah, the racing gods had different plans.
“I knew I may have received,” he added.
“It is simply there was actually no different approach to do it moreover timing it. You needed to do it the final lap as a result of if not, they have been in all probability going to do it to you.
“Simply the timing of the final yellow is what actually killed us to be trustworthy.
“All the opposite ones, you’ll be able to’t choose after they fall or did not fall. In the event that they did, it could in all probability be a really completely different story.”
O’Ward sits atop the standings on 82 factors from Ericsson whereas quiet achiever Scott Dixon sits third.
The Mexican hailed his staff’s efforts, labelling his automobile ‘a rocket’ and recommended Alex Palou and Newgarden for honest and hard-fought racing.
“I do not assume there’s one other approach to put it. I used to be actually comfy within the automobile,” mentioned O’Ward.
“It was enjoyable, I’ve to say. Like, it is acquired to be the very best Texas race within the final 4, 5 years. It was freaking superior.
“Actually, very nice that I acquired to drive and race with guys that I’ve a lot respect for.
“You possibly can push it to the restrict, however you all the time give one another the room that you just want. I believe that is what we gave the followers. That is what they deserve.”
The IndyCar Collection returns with the Grand Prix of Lengthy Seashore on April 17.
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