The 2017 IndyCar Series will go to down to the wire after Josef Newgarden’s lead fell to three points with a race remaining, while Alexander Rossi won at Watkins Glen.
Newgarden hit the wall at pit exit during the final round of pit stops and was shunted by Sebastien Bourdais as a result, damaging the rear suspension of the #2 Team Penske Chevrolet.
The necessary repairs left Newgarden two laps off the pace, while his nearest challenger in Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Honda) finished just behind Rossi in second.
Polesitter Rossi dominated much of the race despite the disruption of a fuel pump problem and the whole field pitting for slicks at the end of Lap 1, having started on wets on what turned out to be a nearly dry track.
Rossi received just a fraction of the fuel required when he pitted under a Caution caused by Andretti Autosport Honda team-mate Takuma Sato slowing with a turbo problem on Lap 15 of the 60-lap race.
Andretti brought Rossi in again from the lead nine laps later for a full fuel load, putting him out of sequence and down the field.
However, he cycled back to the front within three laps when Sato’s delayed car spun and triggered another Caution under which everyone else pitted.
Once back in first place, Rossi turned up the wick and led by as much as 12 seconds during the next stint.
Newgarden was back in eighth in the middle of the race, demoted by drivers out of sequence benefiting from yellow timing as Rossi had.
He moved into a temporary lead by staying out late for his final stop, only to crash in the pit exit.
Bourdais (Dale Coyne Honda) and Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Honda) were also caught out in the resulting shunt, which triggered the final yellow.
Rossi was able to keep Dixon at bay for the subsequent 11-lap run to the flag and cap a weekend that had begun with a new Andretti Autosport deal with his first IndyCar win on a road course.
Ryan Hunter-Reay made it two Andretti cars on the podium after a strong race that included some assertive moves in the opening laps.
Helio Castroneves (Team Penske Chevrolet) kept his own title hopes alive with fourth, having out-duelled Rossi to lead for a spell in the first part of the race before a slow pitstop dropped him back.
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) had a quiet race to fifth.
Sixth kept Will Power (Team Penske Chevrolet) mathematically in the title hunt but he struggled with a semi-wet set-up all race and just fended off Charlie Kimball, who salvaged seventh despite two off-road excursions.
Kimball’s Ganassi team-mate Max Chilton resisted reigning champion Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske Chevrolet) and AJ Foyt Honda duo Carlos Muñoz and Conor Daly for eighth.
The final race of the season is the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on September 15-17.
VIDEO: Grand Prix at The Glen: Sunday highlights
Results: Grand Prix at The Glen
|Pos||Driver||Grid||C/A/E/T||Laps||Race time, gap||Laps led||Status||Pit stops|
|13||Ed Jones (R)||15||D/H/H/F||60||+33.1533||–||Running||4|
|14||Jack Harvey (R)||18||D/H/H/F||60||+35.6826||–||Running||5|
|18||Josef Newgarden||3||D/C/C/F||58||+2 laps||1||Running||7|
|19||Takuma Sato||4||D/H/H/F||56||+4 laps||–||Running||6|
|20||Tony Kanaan||17||D/H/H/F||46||+14 laps||–||Contact||4|
|21||James Hinchcliffe||16||D/H/H/F||5||+55 laps||–||Mechanical||1|
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (A)erokit: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone
|24||Juan Pablo Montoya||93|