2021 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix – Race Report

2021 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix – Race Report
Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Road Course 
Date: Saturday, August 14th 
Round: 12/16 
Race laps: 85 laps 
Total race distance: 207.32 miles/333.64 km 
Length: 2.43 miles/3.91 km 
Number of turns: 14
Pato O’Ward – No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Starting Position: 1st
Finishing Position: 5th
Laps Led: 16
Championship Standing: 2nd, 394 points 
“Interesting day here at the Indianapolis Road Course, after starting on pole we ended up in fifth. We gained a lot of ground in the championship. We are sitting second now and 21 points behind Palou. We cut the deficit by over 50 percent from where it was before the start of the race. That’s definitely a positive. We were in the fight with Palou during the race, then he was unfortunate and lost his engine. That allowed us to truly get a big jump on him in the championship. We think next week will be good for us at Gateway. We are ready for these last four races.”

Felix Rosenqvist – No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Starting Position: 20th
Finishing Position: 13th
Championship Standing: 22nd, 135 points 
“It was an interesting race. We started on used reds, which I was skeptical about, but it was really good. We went from 20th to 14th on the first stint. We stayed out long and had good pace. After that, we put on a new set of tires and for some reason it was just like driving on ice. It was way slower driving on used reds which was really strange and that cost us a lot of time. We went back to 19th after the primary stint, and when we put reds on again in the end it felt good, like in the first stint. We clawed back to 13th, so we got some points there at the end.”
Taylor Kiel – President, Arrow McLaren SP
“What a battle today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Qualifying on the pole certainly comes with its challenges, one of which is having to protect yourself against the rest of the field. We opted to go with red tires on the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet to start, in order to give us the best opportunity to take advantage of clean air and be able to defend. Unfortunately, everyone else went with the alternate strategy and that put us on our back foot. From that moment on it was about survival. We had to run the primary tires at some point in the race against a bunch of others on alternates which was a definitely a disadvantage. After the second stint we were fourth and the rest was history. Kudos to Pato for keeping his head in it and fighting until the end.

Felix drove his heart out, but when you start that far back because of a penalty in qualifying, you are on the back foot from the beginning. All-in-all we are proud of the team and sticking with it until the end and collecting as many points as possible. It shows when you continue to fight, things like what happened to Alex Palou or a poor day from Scott Dixon, there’s always points to be had. I’m proud of the team and we are ready for Gateway.”