Colton Herta dominates, Palou closes in on title, and Grosjean steals the headlines at Leguna Seca

Colton Herta did what Colton Herta usually does, dominating from pole position to take his sixth career victory at Leguna Seca.

Herta led the field cleanly ahead of Alexander Rossi, Will Power, and Alex Palou. However, on Lap Two, it was Rossi who tried to capitalise on a brief mistake by Herta, diving down the inside of Turn Two. The Andretti drivrt understeered into Herta and spun out into the gravel bringing out the first caution of the day. Meanwhile, Arrow McLaren SP driver Felix Rosenqvist spun but was able to return to the track and get racing again.

After the first lap, the championship leaders were in fourth (Palou), fifth (Dixon), sixth (O’Ward), and 17th (Newgarden).

Patricio O’Ward was one of the only front runners to start on the primary tyres and would finish fourth. Photo credit James Black.

The restart got underway on Lap Four as O’Ward, who started in sixth and had already lost out to Dixon, started to fall down the order. He was soon swallowed up by Marcus Ericsson and Simon Pagenaud as he continued his season-long struggle on the primary sticker blacks. 

Will Power pitted on Lap Ten with an engine issue which kicked started the first stops for other drivers like O’Ward, who desperately needed track position. However, Josef Newgarden had pitted earlier and was able to jump O’Ward out of the pits.

Colton Herta would wait until Lap 19 before pitting, emerging out of the pits comfortably ahead of Alex Palou who had benefited from the misfortune of Rossi and Power. O’Ward would eventually pit again on Lap 40 while Herta would hold a 30 second lead over Palou. However, after both drivers pitted Palou was able to close up to within a second of the leader.

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