The first race of IndyCar’s Month of May proceedings took place on Saturday afternoon, with a tilt around the Indianapolis road course.

It was a tough race, with warm and humid conditions prevailing instead of the showers that were initially projected ahead of the weekend.

There were a few drivers that were the class of the field, and the battle for the win came down to little differences between them.

READ MORE: IndyCar IMS Road Course – Full Race Results

The polesitter Christian Lungaard traded the top spot with Alex Palou a few times throughout the day, with differences in tire choices leading to most of the small pace differences on any given lap.

By time the checkered flag flew, it was Alex Palou that was ahead and the Spaniard earned his first win of the 2023 season.

He ended up an impressive 16.8 seconds ahead of second place, a stat that showed just how poorly Lundgaard’s tires were on the final stints.

Lundgaard was really fast in the first portion of the race, and even took the lead back from Palou following the first round of pit stops, but his middle laps were a struggle to keep his red tires from wearing out too quickly.

He slipped behind Palou and Pato O’Ward during that section of the race, then fell further down in the final laps to finish in fourth. A disappointing result after the pace and confidence he showed during qualifying.

O’Ward ended the day in second place, just ahead of his Arrow McLaren team-mate Alexander Rossi. Felix Rosenqvist even finished in fifth, marking a banner day for the team.

All three drivers finished in the top five at last year’s Indy 500 as well, and all three have plenty of momentum heading into this year’s race.

Just a couple laps into the 85-lap race, David Malukas and Sting Ray Robb came together while fighting for position.

Malukas did not realize that Robb was alongside him, and came down hard into the apex. The caution was thrown to pick up the cars, and both retired from the race.

Another rookie Ben Pedersen had a tough race, and his troubles started before the race even began. He was forced to come back to pits during the pace laps because his radio was not working.

He was able to rejoin just as everyone else took the green flag, but struggled all day and finished down in 24th.

Arrow McLaren had a fantastic day with all three drivers in the top five. Photo: Kevin Dejewski

Simon Pagenaud’s Meyer Shank Racing Honda lost a wheel nut on his final stop and had to pull over at the end of pit road. Instead of a finish in the top half of the standings, he dropped down to the back.

Will Power looked like he was going to be down at the very bottom of the order as well when he spun into the grass just a couple laps into the race.

He was able to work his way back up to 12th, however, salvaging a decent result from an unfortunate event.

Another driver that recovered remarkably well was Graham Rahal. The veteran had a cut tire early in the race and had to make an unscheduled pit stop, but a caution neutralized his deficit and he recovered all the way to 10th.

There are only a few days of rest now, as the first practice sessions for the 107th Indianapolis 500 begins on Tuesday of next week.

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