r1153524 600x400 3 2 - Replay Madness

FORT WORTH, Texas — Josef Newgarden won at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday for the second consecutive year when a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle with Pato O’Ward came to a sudden halt by a crash behind them.

Newgarden and O’Ward — at one point the only two drivers on the lead lap — frantically swapped the lead over and over during the final third of the race, and neither showed any inclination to lift off the gas in the fight for the win. The two even bumped wheels at nearly 215 mph with two laps remaining.

But Romain Grosjean crashed while running fifth as the leaders took the white flag, IndyCar threw the caution, and Newgarden won under yellow.

It was the third career victory at Texas for Newgarden, who won in a Chevrolet for Team Penske. He led a race-high 123 of the 250 laps.

Driving in a Chevy for Arrow McLaren, O’Ward has opened the IndyCar season with back-to-back second-place finishes. He nearly won the opener at St. Petersburg until an engine blip allowed him to be passed by Marcus Ericsson for the victory.

O’Ward, who led 91 laps and used three-wide moves to stay at the front, is IndyCar’s new points leader.

Alex Palou finished third for Chip Ganassi Racing and was followed by David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing and Ganassi driver Scott Dixon in a pack of Honda-powered drivers.

Scott McLaughlin of Penske was sixth and followed by Colton Herta, in his first race without his father, Bryan, as his strategist in a personnel change made at Andretti Autosport.

Only seven drivers finished on the lead lap.

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Josef Newgarden holds off Pato O’Ward for Texas repeat