After an 80-minute delay, the race resumed and several drivers were forced to make stops to take on fuel before the green flag dropped.
Once the stops had cycled through, Penske’s Will Power was leading Ericsson and appeared to have the upper hand on his Ganassi opponent, though was dealt a cruel blow in the closing stages.
When a second red flag was called for Romain Grosjean’s crashed car at Turn 8 drama arose when the call was given to restart the race.
Power’s engine would not restart, amid hot and humid conditions at Belle Isle, which allowed Ericsson to assume the lead.
Veekay and O’Ward took their battle right to the final corner with the Dutchman coming out ahead of the Mexican as the pair rounded out the podium.
After a tough qualifying session, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing made the most of the fast-paced race with Takuma Sato finishing in fourth ahead of Graham Rahal and Santino Ferrucci.
Alexander Rossi battled with O’Ward for the lead of the race prior to the first red flag but as strategy played its part it only left the Andretti driver only able to equal his best result of 2021, in seventh, as his difficult run continues.
Six-time champion Scott Dixon finished eighth after his strategy of attempting to gamble on the Black Firestone tyres failed to pay off due to the red flag for Rosenqvist. A tough middle stint on the softer tyres which wore heavily left him out of contention for the win.
Ed Jones took a 2021 best of ninth, ahead of Josef Newgarden, who went a lap down early on due loose wheel after a bodged pitstop.
Points leader Alex Palou had a low-key run to 15th place and had his advantage over new nearest rival O’Ward cut to 15 points.
The second race of the weekend is set to get underway Sunday at 12:40pm EDT