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O’Ward says Mid-Ohio “seems like first win of the season”

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Pato O’Ward delivered an enormous exhale after beating Alex Palou by 0.4993s in an exhilarating IndyCar Collection race at Mid-Ohio Sports activities Automobile Course on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Mexican caught Palou after which propelled by after the pole-sitter’s pricey hesitation on his remaining pit cease on lap 55 of 80.

Though O’Ward got here underneath assault from Palou within the closing levels, he held on to attain declare the sixth victory of his profession, crossing the end line in entrance for the primary time for the reason that second race of the double-header weekend at Iowa Speedway on July 24, 2022.  

O’Ward was credited with profitable at St. Petersburg again in March, nevertheless it got here a month after the race when it was found that Penske’s Josef Newgarden illegally used overtake and was stripped of his win, selling O’Ward from second to first.

Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, podium, champagne

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Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

“This seems like the primary win of the season,” stated O’Ward, now third within the championship standings. “I do know St. Pete we have been P2 and in the end ended up getting the win as a result of Penske cheated, and yeah, the five hundred was two corners brief.

“However we actually pushed it [today]. I used to be pushing so arduous. Watching Palou sort of making an attempt to run away with it within the first stint, I stated ‘no approach, no approach’.

“For some purpose they’re so fast on the primes, the Ganassi automobiles. They’re in a special stratosphere. However I knew as quickly as we bought the reds on, that was my likelihood to shut the hole and in the end beat him.

“I knew that was the target and simply tried to maintain him at a considerably manageable distance. I am tremendous stoked. I am so pleased with the workforce.

“All my No. 5 guys, they have been working so arduous. It simply seems like we have had heartbreak after heartbreak after heartbreak and we have clearly had a tricky battle making an attempt to determine this new tyre this yr.

“Yeah, it feels so good to provide this to them. I do know they’re as blissful as I’m at the moment, and we earned it. Nobody gave it to us. We needed to earn it.”

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, winner, celebration with Judy Dominick of Chevrolet

Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, winner, celebration with Judy Dominick of Chevrolet

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

O’Ward harked again to the crucial second of the race: making the most of Palou’s pit street mistake.

“I am going to inform you precisely what I used to be saying in my head,” O’Ward stated. “Popping out of (Flip) 13, I noticed him launching from the field, after which I stated, “I bought his ass.’”

O’Ward additionally pressured how the softer alternate tyres aided the efficiency of his No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet through the essential second stint that allowed him to shut from over 6s behind to roughly 0.4s. Palou was battling blistered entrance tyres.

“Yeah, I believe that is most likely what gave us the chance,” O’Ward stated. “Who is aware of; it is arduous to say how it could have performed out within the different situation.

“However we beat him on the identical technique, similar all the things, which makes it really feel clearly that a lot sweeter as a result of that No. 10 automotive has been the automotive to beat, and it nonetheless is the automotive to beat all yr.

“They have been very, very robust, very robust driver with extraordinarily robust workforce. That is who we’re chasing in the intervening time.”

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