Takuma Sato & # 39; s pole position was astonished after qualifying for the Alabama Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park, but second place by teammate Graham Rahal suggested that Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was in top form. this weekend.
From the start, Sato held his hand in front of Rahal, while behind, a slight traffic jam resulted in an attempt to secure positions from Ed Jones, who was more than half the grid before crossing the line, and was strong. logically punished, so that he was relegated to more than one turn.
In the front, the drivers did not make their first stop long, Marcus Ericsson was the first to return and strategically shifted after a start on the starting field, ranked 20th, while the leaders returned around the 10th lap.
Over the stops, Takuma Sato claimed his pace, on the contrary, Rahal collapsed and even came out of the top 10. In the front, Sebastien Bourdais was the most threatening driver behind the Japanese thanks to an offbeat strategy (he will finally be the only pilot posts who only made two stops) but stayed far enough.
Winner two weeks ago in Austin, Colton Herta was the first to experience fuel problems due to a mechanical problem that eliminated him from the action, while Will Power was the first to make a runway appearance with a header. spider.
Apart from that, the first part of the race was quiet, until the 57th lap, where Rahal parked at the edge of the track, the car broke down. The yellow flag was out and the neutralization forced all drivers to go past their booth.
Sato took the lead, while Scott Dixon took the opportunity to score second at Bourdais's expense. At the same time, Tony Kanaan reluctantly entered the stand and forced Max Chilton to leave the pit lane and hit the wall.
Kanaan & # 39; s teammate, Matheus Leist, assured Sato & # 39; s calm during the restart, because it was trapped between the RLL driver and Dixon. Just over 20 innings remained when the green flag waved.
Sato attacked without losing Dixon and was scared when he left the job, but kept his head. Dixon was looking for the lead and the win, but the Japanese stayed ahead and made no mistakes.
Bourdais eventually returned in the wake of Dixon but could not defeat the New Zealander. In the front, Sato won his fourth IndyCar victory and continues his series of at least one victory per season, started in 2017 with his success on the Indy 500, and extended last year with his victory in the penultimate race of the season.
Behind the podium is Josef Newgarden, who had started from the eighth row of the starting schedule, and managed to make his strategy work through some daring maneuvers.
Alex Rossi was always well placed and finished fifth for the two drivers Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson. The latter is a better beginner and signs his best result in IndyCar, after some great maneuvers. Simon Pagenaud reached the top 10 with a finish in ninth place.
In the championship, Newgarden is still the leader since his victory in the opening race and is 27 points ahead of Scott Dixon. Thanks to his pole position and victory, as well as the points of the driver with the most laps, Sato climbed to third place, only seven points behind Dixon.
Just like the last, Rossi plays regularity and is fourth for Herta and Bourdais. Hinchliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Power and Marco Andretti complete the top 10 in the championship.