‘Dragon move’ a necessary evil – Newgarden

'Dragon move' a necessary evil - Newgarden

The “dragon move” that has become an increasingly prevalent feature of the final laps of the Indianapolis 500 is a necessary evil because of the downforce configuration of the current cars, according to newly-minted Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden.

Pioneered by Simon Pagenaud in 2019 and replicated by 2022 winner Marcus Ericsson, and again by both Ericsson and Newgarden in Sunday’s race, the maneuver involves the leading car exiting the last corner and swerving aggressively from one side of the track to the other in an effort to break the tow to the car behind. Although it’s a defensive move and looks very similar to blocking — which is not permitted under the IndyCar rulebook — the difference lies in the fact that the move is instigated by the car in front, rather than being a reaction to a move from the car behind, and is therefore within the rules.

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