McDowell took benefit of a sluggish pit cease by Daniel Suarez to increase his lead in Stage 2 and by no means regarded again at Indianapolis.
The 38-year-old native of Phoenix, Ariz., deftly out-duelled Chase Elliott down the stretch because the race ended with a 77-lap inexperienced flag run. He cleared Elliott by 0.937 seconds to win Sunday’s race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Highway Course.
Though McDowell was in rivalry to make the 2023 playoffs primarily based on factors, his victory locks him into the 16-driver subject.
McDowell’s solely different Cup win got here within the 2021 Daytona 500. He completed a career-best sixteenth within the collection standings that 12 months.
The win by McDowell and his No. 34 Front Row Motorsports workforce additionally provides Ford three consecutive wins for the primary time because the 2020 season.
“Oh man, this can be a dream come true. I’m simply so grateful for everyone at Entrance Row Motorsports and (proprietor) Bob Jenkins,” McDowell stated. “Man, we had a quick Ford Mustang at present. We had the quickest automobile.
“I’m simply so than to nonetheless be driving within the Cup collection. To placed on a efficiency like that, I don’t know if it was dominant, but it surely felt fairly dominant to me.”
Requested about Elliott’s cost within the last laps, McDowell stated, “I used to be simply attempting to tempo myself. I figured there can be a late-race warning and I didn’t need to burn my stuff up. I used to be simply attempting to keep up that hole.”
Van Gisbergen, who received in his inaugural Cup race final month on the Chicago Road Course, led a robust worldwide contingent of drivers in Sunday’s race.
Fellow Supercars star Brodie Kostecki completed twenty second, 2010 Le Mans 24 general winner Mike Rockenfeller was twenty fourth, 2009 Components 1 World Champion Jenson Button was twenty eighth and WEC star Kamui Kobayashi ended up thirty third.
With the completion of lap 15, McDowell held off Suarez by 0.720 seconds to say the Stage 1 win – the primary stage victory of his profession. Elliott ran third, Reddick fourth and Larson fifth.
With the completion of lap 35, Hamlin edged McDowell by 0.744 seconds to take the Stage 2 win. Denny Hamlin remained the one automobile that had not but made a inexperienced flag cease.
Suarez ran third, Brad Keselowski fourth and Elliott fifth. Hamlin and Keselowski made their first stops of the race throughout the subsequent two laps.
After Hamlin hit pit street for his first pit cease of the race, McDowell took over the race lead on lap 36.
With 35 laps remaining, Suarez went to the within of Elliott and nudged him out of the way in which to take over the runner-up place behind McDowell.
One lap later, a number of lead-lap automobiles hit pit street to kick off the ultimate spherical of inexperienced flag stops to tackle new tires and gas to make it to the top of the race.
Suarez had a sluggish cease and misplaced a number of positions because the air hose obtained briefly caught below the splitter of the No. 99 Chevrolet.
As soon as the cycle of stops was accomplished, McDowell reemerged because the chief over Elliott with 29 laps remaining.
With 15 laps to go, McDowell maintained a 2.6-second lead over Elliott as Suarez ran third, nearly seven seconds behind the chief.
Elliott nonetheless trailed McDowell by 2.8 seconds with 5 laps remaining and had a tough time navigating lapped visitors between himself and the chief.