This All-Out Battle Shows What IndyCar Does Best

·2 min read
2023 indycar grosjean battles mclaughlin at barber motorsports park
This All-Out Battle Shows What IndyCar Does BestIndyCar / Twitter

When former Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean and Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin last fought for a win in IndyCar, both ended up crashing in the same corner. Today, the two found each other on track after the day's final pit stop with a win on the line once again. This time, however, the two kept their noses clean and were able to fight for the win over the entire final stint.

Grosjean stuck to McLaughlin's rear wing and was in position to make a dive to the inside of one corner when McLaughlin quickly blocked the lane. Rather than lifting out and waiting to strike again, Grosjean adjusted hard to the outside, kept all of his momentum, and got to the side of McLaughlin's car heading into the next corner. McLaughlin, suddenly unable to close the door, had to cede the preferred line into the next corner and lost the lead. That was not the end, though.

Over the next few laps, McLaughlin hounded Grosjean's rear wing and put pressure on a leader who has yet to record his first IndyCar win throughout the remaining laps. That eventually forced Grosjean into a mistake, locking up into a corner and ceding the lead back to McLaughlin. McLaughlin would go on to win, while Grosjean would record his second runner-up finish of the season.

It was the sort of battle that shows what IndyCar does best: on-track battles for positions that matter in cars that can follow one another closely and pass in corners without the assistance of a designed mechanical counter like DRS. The drivers are a big part of the show, too; IndyCar is the only place in the world where a decade-long Formula 1 veterans like Grosjean can race in a competitive 27-car open wheel field that also features a regional closed-fender superstar like McLaughlin. Like so many others in the series, each has a unique style that shines through in these sorts of battles that are commonplace throughout the schedule.

IndyCar's season continues with the now-traditional round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's infield road course ahead of the Indianapolis 500 later next month. 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson leads the championship by three points over McLaren's Pato O'Ward.

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