Will Power finally scored his first IndyCar win of season 2021 with a rampaging run to first place on the Indianapolis road course on a day that Scott McLaughlin will want to forget.

As Power led 58 of the 75 laps, McLaughlin had an early incident and then was penalised in the dying laps for a failed pass on Renus Veekay, leaving him as one of the last of the runners at the flag in 23rd place.

McLaughlin is still the best-placed Rookie in the championship standings, but could face a bigger challenge from former Grand Prix racer Romain Grosjean as the Frenchman boosts his IndyCar schedule by joining the next oval-track race after previously avoiding the hemmed-in high banks of the American championship.

Grosjean drove strongly to take second at Indy, with Colton Herta filling the final podium place on the road course.

“There you go. Finally, finally,” says Power as he delivers the first home win for his team owner Roger Penske since the American billionaire bought the track called ‘The World Centre of Racing’.

“What a relief. We weren’t going to lose that one. We needed it as a group,” says Power.”

He has battled through the year, losing one certain victory to a computer failure while leading, also sometimes trying too hard to get back to P1 after signing a contract extension with Team Penske early in the year.

“We’ve obviously had some bad luck and I’ve made some mistakes as well,” he admits.

“I did a lot of homework. Put it all together. A very good day. I’ve been here six times here in this victory lane. It’s a special place for me.”

Power’s only real threat came at the dying stages, first as he was slowed by Herta’s team mate James Hinchliffe and then by several yellow-flag cautions.

“It just blows my mind some of the things that can go wrong at such a critical time, but all I was thinking about is I’m getting this bloody restart; there’s no way I’m giving this win up,” says Power. “So, you know, I just focus hard on where I’m going to go and play a bit of a game to make sure I get a bit of a jump.”

McLaughlin started the Indy weekend well, running in the Top 10 at times during practice and qualifying, but things went downhill when he could only qualify in 21st place with a car that was too tail-happy.

“Tough old qual day for Car 3,” he says. “Car wasn’t exactly how I wanted it in qualifying but we have tonight to tun it up and make her a rocket-ship tomorrow.”

Once again he had a new livery for Indy, this time joking about a children’s cartoon connection and the colourscheme.

“I”m going to call it Peppa, just because it’s pink,” he laughs.

But there was no improvement and an early incident in traffic, and then the late mistake – when he was sent to the back of the field for an avoidable contact – meant it was a tough result.

“Sorry to @rinusveekay for the contact at the end there, totally on me,” tweets McLaughlin.

And then his verdict …

“Not our day today. Mistake by me at the end hurt us more. Push on, learning every lap just gotta iron out some creases, especially in qualifying,” he says.