Scott Dixon has led a phenomenal Kiwi 1-2 in the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, with Scott McLaughlin claiming his first-ever podium.
Dixon dominated the entire race, controlling every restart and at times running out to a four second lead.
Starting third, Dixon was in the lead by lap three as he overtook polesitter Alex Palou around the outside.
Once in the lead, Dixon looked right at home and only relinquished the top spot for brief periods of time during the pitstop phase.
The defending champion has now won five times at the hallowed super speedway. The win is also his 51st career triumph.
For McLaughlin, today marked his debut oval race.
Starting 15th after qualifying was cancelled due to rain, McLaughlin looked far from a rookie as he expertly managed his pace and lapped traffic to stay in touch with the leaders.
He pitted earlier than most of the field and the gamble paid off when a fortunate yellow flag was brought out and most of the driver’s were made to stop.
That promoted McLaughlin to sixth and once in the top crop of cars he never looked back.
Up to third with 50 laps in hand, McLaughlin then benefited from a late safety car following a crash from James Hinchcliffe.
With the field under yellow for the final round of pitstops, McLaughlin jumped ahead of Felix Rosenqvist, who was running second, on pit road.
With the Kiwi duo now running first and second, an incredible finish was on the cards.
Dixon controlled the restart, though McLaughlin was not losing touch. The slipstream of the No.9 Chip Ganassi Honda assisted in keeping McLaughlin within one-second of the leader.
McLaughlin even looked to put pressure on Dixon over the final few tours, though the Iceman resisted the attack and led his counterpart over the line by 0.2s.
“I’ve never been this bloody happy with second,” McLaughlin said. “ I’m really stoked…just couldn’t quite get Scotty at the end there. It was bloody cool to battle with my all-time favourite hero in Scotty Dixon.
“Two Kiwis, one and two, is fantastic.”
Pato O’Ward was third, with Palou slipping back to fourth.
Tomorrow sees the IndyCar field have another race at the Texas Motor Speedway, with the start time scheduled at 9 am NZT.
|19||Marcus Ericsson||1 Lap|
|20||Rinus van Kalmthout||1 Lap|
|21||Conor Daly||1 Lap|
|22||Colton Herta||22 Laps|
|23||James Hinchcliffe||54 Laps|
|24||Sébastien Bourdais||157 Laps|