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A beautiful but breezy Saturday was the setting for IndyCar’s traditional spring race around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. In the early part of the race, Christian Lundgaard was the one pacing the field. He took the lead in the first lap, but had a mirror full of Alex Palou for much of the time.

The second pit stop of the afternoon on lap 42 proved to be the critical one of the afternoon, with Palou executing the overcut perfectly to slot into the lead while exiting pit road. Once he was in the lead, there was nothing anybody else could do to catch him. As he has done multiple times before, Palou simply drove away from the competition.

Will Power also gained a spot on pit stops, moving ahead of Lundgaard into second place and leaving the Danish driver to settle for the final step on the podium.

For Power, it is yet another podium without a win. His winless streak has continued for nearly two full years, and he readily admits that he is tired of earning second place trophies. Scott Dixon and Marcus Armstrong rounded out the top five, although neither were ever in contention for the lead in the straightforward event.

It was not the 85th lap that was the most exciting, but rather the first. The first corner was as messy as possible without causing a caution, with eventual winner Palou locking up and coming within inches of colliding with Lundgaard while diving into the first corner.

Halfway through the field, there were actual collisions and six cars had to take evasive maneuvers through the grass.

Everyone continued without so much as a spin, and a few broken wings and a couple avoidable contact penalties handed out from race control were the only consequences. One of those penalties was handed down to Marcus Ericsson, who hip-checked his team-mate Colton Herta and sent him through the gravel.

Herta said after the race that his compatriot’s aggressiveness was uncalled for, especially considering Herta was in the points lead going into the race.

Unfortunately for Scott McLaughlin, he was directly in the middle of the Turn 1 sandwich and fell to the back of the field getting back up to speed. It took him the entire race, but he managed to work his way back up to sixth.

Pato O’Ward had an even more disappointing day, but his woes were due to engine issues. His Chevy power plant let go spectacularly in the morning warmup, and the Arrow McLaren crew had to scramble to fit a new one before the race. The new engine was not up to the challenge, however, and O’Ward complained about power all afternoon while he drifted from fifth down to 13th.

Newgarden, surprisingly, was nowhere to be found for the entire event. He started in fourth, but slipped down the order all afternoon and ended up in 18th. With his negated win on account of Team Penske’s Push to Pass cheat, the reigning Indy 500 champion is 17th in the points ahead of the defence of his biggest win.

There was only one caution during the race, which was thrown for Luca Ghiotto who spun in the grass and needed assistance getting restarted. By the time the caution came, all the pit strategies had already played out and everyone had made their third and final pit stop.

Santino Ferrucci was the only retirement, as his reported brake bias issues got worse and he was forced to park his AJ Foyt Chevy on lap 55.

Drivers and teams will be hopping straight into Indy 500 practice on the 2.5-mile oval Tuesday morning.