After heading off fellow two-stoppers Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou within the opening laps, polesitter Grosjean managed the opening stint.
However Sting Ray Robb’s Dale Coyne Racing with RWR automotive floor to a halt just some laps after the primary of former System 1 driver Grosjean’s two stops, and it additionally prompted the quickest three-stoppers to make their second stops earlier than the complete course warning was referred to as and the pitlane closed.
That allowed Scott McLaughlin onto Grosjean’s tail for the restart, and whereas he weathered that storm, when he pitted on Lap 60, McLaughlin remained out and laid down three quick laps in clear air, earlier than making his third cease.
The Penske driver emerged forward however on chilly tyres, and Grosjean made an outstanding move on his quarry on the remaining flip. Nevertheless, he was having to drive to a gas quantity having stopped that a lot earlier, and so he simply couldn’t shake off McLaughlin.
He stored him behind till working large at Flip 5 on Lap 72 of the 90-lap race, with McLaughlin taking the lead and eventual win.
“Ah, it harm, I’m gonna be sincere,” mentioned Grosjean, who has now taken three pole positions and 5 runner-up finishes however continues to be looking for his first win. “The three-stop by no means wins in Barber however right this moment the pits stayed open and that gave McLaughlin the sting on the three-stop.
“I imply, have a look at the [other] two-stoppers, they have been 20s behind. We had an unbelievable automotive and [I] drove rather well, gave it 100%, however we simply received unfortunate with that yellow.
“Michael got here and mentioned, ‘Don’t get your head down, that’s one of many best drives I’ve ever seen,’ so what do you need to say? I gave all of it. It was good with Scott, and congrats to him, he deserved the win.”
Scott McLaughlin, Workforce Penske Chevrolet
Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
Grosjean was rendered impotent in his defence of the lead when he ran out of push to move increase, having gone simple on it – as obliged by working a two-stop technique – by means of the primary two-thirds of the race, as he had on the earlier race in Lengthy Seaside.
“I puzzled if I had a glitch on the sprint,” he mentioned. “I believed I had 99s left, the following time I seemed it was zero. Perhaps I simply used it greater than I assumed I used to be! Benefiting from it, after Lengthy Seaside.”
Within the late phases, he was underneath assault from the charging Will Power, however Grosjean mentioned he wasn’t nervous.
“I knew Will was coming however his reds could be on the finish of their life,” he mentioned, “so I wasn’t too nervous about it. I used to be extra nervous concerning the gas quantity and tyres getting chilly and making a mistake.”
Remarking on the large image, he mentioned: “We received good factors right this moment, and our day will come. Right now was like St Pete, we received unfortunate, so on to the following one.”
Grosjean outperformed his Andretti Autosport teammates, who have been additionally on two-stop methods. After mediocre qualifying outcomes, Kyle Kirkwood, Colton Herta and Devlin DeFrancesco completed 12th, 14th and 23rd respectively, 35, 42 and 62s adrift of Grosjean.
Grosjean is fifth within the championship however solely 15 factors behind chief Marcus Ericsson.