Simon Pagenaud stormed past Scott Dixon with two laps to go to win the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

The win is the Frenchman's third on the Speedway's infield road course and the 13th of his career.

The race began with polesitter Felix Rosenqvist defending a charge from Meyer Shank Racing's Jack Harvey heading into the race's opening turn. Patricio O'Ward and Alexander Rossi made contact further back which forced Rossi to pit with suspension damage.

Rosenqvist stretched out a comfortable lead over Harvey until Marcus Ericsson crashed in Turn 14 on Lap 12 and brought out the first full course caution of the day.

The leaders stayed out as Josef Newgarden, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Max Chilton and Patricio O'Ward pitted for alternate red tyres.

Scott Dixon inhaled Harvey and Rosenqvist to take the lead as Colton Herta spun from fourth. Ryan Hunter-Reay got spun by James Hinchcliffe and slid into Herta, which brought out the yellow flag again.

Dixon jumped away on the restart as Ed Jones blasted to second place after restarting fifth. Dixon drove away from Jones as Harvey followed in third.

Pitstops began on lap 26 with Harvey the first of the leaders to make his stop. Jones followed suit a lap later, and the Ganassi Pair of Dixon and Rosenqvist stopped together on Lap 28.

That elevated Newgarden to the lead having stopped under the first full course yellow along with O'Ward, Max Chilton, Mattheus Leist and James Hinchcliffe.

As a rainstorm approached Speedway, Indiana, questions started to pop up on pit road on whether to pit for rain tyres or stack on slicks.

The rain held off and Newgarden pitted on Lap 40 which moved Dixon back to the front with Harvey pressuring him from behind and Simon Pagenaud riding in third.

Harvey cut Dixon's lead to just over a second before the top three pitted together on Lap 48. That moved Newgarden back to the point as the storms drew even closer.

Helio Castroneves pitted for wet tyres on Lap 57 but spun coming out of the pits. That forced Newgarden to pit lane with front runners O'Ward and Hinchcliffe behind. Dixon pitted as well for a set of wets just as the caution flag flew.

The rain intensified under the caution which forced the remainder of drivers back to pit road to switch to wets which moved Dixon back to the top spot ahead of Harvey, Spencer Pigot, Matheus Leist and Ed Jones.

Dixon jetted away on the restart with Harvey trailing as Leist dispatched Pigot for third. Leist, Jones and Pigot swapped positions for a few laps as Dixon cruised away.

The jockeying for positions three through five allowed Simon Pagenaud to pick off Leist and Pigot with ease and find himself in third with 10 to go.

He stalked Harvey for five laps before dive bombing him in Turn 1 with seven laps to go.

Pagenaud closed the gap on Dixon without the aid of the push-to-pass and was within striking distance with two laps remaining.

Dixon got off line heading in Turn 7 which allowed Pagenud to strike and pass him in Turn 9 and drove away to a 2.04 second lead at the checkered flag.

Pagenaud expressed relief in victory lane having ended a 23-race winless drought and garnering momentum heading into the Indianapolis 500.

"I answered it, and I know what I'm worth," said the driver of the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet for Team Penske. "I just have to get everything right. We did that this weekend, slowly and surely. The starts just didn't align. The performance has always been there this year. The team has been fantastic giving me what I need, so here we are."

Dixon held on for his second consecutive runner-up finish at the IMS Road Course. Jack Harvey ended the day third to claim his first IndyCar podium and the first for Meyer Shank Racing.

Mattheus Leist also had a career-best day finishing fourth. That gave AJ Foyt Racing their first top-five finish since 2017 at Gateway.

Ed Carpenter Racing teammates Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones logged a fifth and sixth place finish as Will Power ended up seventh.

Pole sitter Felix Rosenqvist ended the day eighth and Graham Rahal and rookie Santino Ferrucci rounded out the top ten.A late switch to wet tyres relegated Josef Newgarden to 15th place finish and cut his lead in the standings down to just six over Dixon. Dixon moves ahead of Alexander Rossi who never recovered from his opening lap contact and finished 22nd.

 

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