"This is huge man, it's a track position race," O'Ward said of the difficulty to pass on Mid-Ohio's track. "It's a long race. A lot can happen but we have a great starting position."
Meanwhile, Marcus Ericsson failed to advance out of the first group of Saturday qualifying. After that, reigning series champion Alex Palou was knocked out of the second round. As a result, O'Ward and Scott Dixon have an excellent opportunity to make up the lost ground in the title battle.
The pole-sitter for this race is ranked fourth in the standings, 45 points behind Ericsson, while Dixon trails his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Ericsson by 69 points.
The circuit from Ohio has 13 turns and has 2.258 miles (3.633 kilometers).
18:44 UTC See you again in Ontario for the Honda Indy Toronto race in two weeks.
18:41 UTC What a race made by McLaughlin here in Ohio to win after 80 laps full of incidents.
18:40 UTC And the race is over. Scott McLaughlin holds his ground to win in Ohio ahead of defending world champion Alex Palou and Will Power. #21 Rinus VeeKay and #10 Alex Palou complete the top five.
18:35 UTC However, McLaughlin responds to Palou by extending his lead to almost a full second.
18:33 UTC With five laps to go, Alex Palou si dangerously close to McLaughlin. A battle is about to start.
18:32 UTC Grosjean is very angry with his teammate Rossi after that incident. He even said he would not do anything to help Rossi even if he is one lap down. What a moment from the French driver.
18:27 UTC We have only 11 laps left, and Scott McLaughlin holds off Alex Palou and Will Power without any problems. Hopefully, we won't have any yellow flags by the end of the race. Meanwhile, this is the moment when Grosjean came together with Alexander Rossi.
18:20 UTC Another lap down, another driver on the grass. Herta went off the track, but fortunately, he is back on the asphalt.
18:18 UTC With 18 laps to go, we have green flags again. McLaughlin had another excellent start, but so did the next four challengers for the race win.
18:15 UTC After O'Ward retirement due to a mechanical failure, the streak of pole sitters to win at Mid-Ohio is over.
18:12 UTC Lap 59/80- After a short period of green, the yellow flag is out again after an incident involving Rossi and Grosjean.
18:10 UTC Lap57/80- The top ten look like this: Herta, McLaughlin, Palou, VeeKay, Power, Dixon, Ericsson, Newgarden, Harvey, and Rossi.
18:04 UTC Everyone else is making their scheduled stops. Will we have another yellow flag?
18:03 UTC And the inevitable has happened. Pato stopped his McLaren at the entry of the pits.
18:02 UTC Tatiana Calderon stopped the car next to the track.
18:02 UTC #11 Tatiana Calderon is going very slowly. Meanwhile, ex-race leader O'Ward has fallen on P17.
17:59 UTC Lap 50/80- Takuma Sato makes a mistake, and he is out on the grass for a couple of seconds.
17:57 UTC Meanwhile, Scott McLaughlin is controlling the race, keeping his distance from the current world champion Alex Palou.
17:56 UTC This is why the last yellow flag is out. Jack Harvey gets into the back of Dalton Kellett
17:55 UTC Will Power and Alex Rossi got ahead O'Ward quickly. The McLaren driver can't do anything on the straights.
17:54 UTC Pato O'Ward car is still out of power. Indy500 winner Marcus Ericsson ovetook Pato very easily on the straight.
17:50 UTC Rinus VeeKay made an incredible move on the outside to overtake the cars of Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon for the last place in the top five.
17:48 UTC Will Power enters the top ten after overtaking Pagenaud.
17:47 UTC The green flag is out. Race leader Scott McLaughlin has a good restart getting away from Palou.
17:44 UTC We are approaching the race's halfway point, but we are still under yellow conditions. Pato O'Ward is still in the race.
17:43 UTC Currently, we have a race full of incidents with short periods of green flags. Maybe things will change by the end.
17:42 UTC Now we wait to see if the track officials could start Kellet's car.
17:41 UTC Palou attacks the race leader, but again we have a yellow situation. #4 Dalton Kellet is hit from behind.
17:40 UTC Lap 36/80 - Is green, green, green. Alex Palou has a great restart and he is very close to race leader McLaughlin.
17:39 UTC We still don't have any updates about Pato O'Ward's car condition. However, the guys from the paddock are looking very worried.
17:36 UTC The top five for now in lap 33 out of 80 is like this: #3 Scott McLaughlin, #10 Alex Palou,#26 Colton Herta, #5 Pato O'Ward, and #9 Scott Dixon. We are still waiting for the green flags.
17:32 UTC Kyle Kirkwood retires from the race. We still don't know if O'Ward car is better.
17:31 UTC Meanwhile, there is an incident on track. Drivers like Herta, Ericsson, and Palou entered the pits after Kyle Kirkwood hit the wall.
17:30 UTC Incredible! Race leader and the other McLaren driver Pato O'Ward has the same problem as Felix. A power loss makes Pato enter the pits. What is happening to McLaren?
17:28 UTC Takuma Sato #51 and P4 sitter Simon Pagenaud #60 have entered the pits.
17:26 UTC The first round of pit stops is on. Let's see what strategies the drivers will choose.
17:25 UTC Meanwhile, Felix Rosenqvist says he is disappointed, mainly because it wasn't his fault.
17:24 UTC Lap 25/80- Pato O'Ward is still leading the pack ahead of McLaughlin and Scott Dixon. Soon the first round of pit stops will come.
17:21 UTC While Alex Palou is still in fifth, Pagenaud is battling with Colton Herta for P3. Can we have a three-way battle for the last place on the podium?
17:15 UTC Pato O'Ward is still keeping his ground fair and square against McLaughlin. For the moment, Pato first stop should come in 14 laps.
17:13 UTC After an early yellow, the Data Insights Powered by NTT has predicted that O'Ward will make his first pit stop on Lap 30. Let's see if that is true.
17:11 UTC Meanwhile, Alex Palou is all over Pagenaud for fifth place.
17:11 UTC We are back on green and the race restarted. O'Ward, McLaughlin and Scott Dixon are the top three drivers.
17:09 UTC After ten laps of calm racing, Felix Rosenqvist had to retire due to a mechanical failure. Unfortunate for Felix who was running so good.
17:06 UTC The Green lights are out, and Pato O'Ward kept his leading position.