Scott Dixon has claimed his second successive IndyCar Series win after pulling off a crushing victory at the GMR Grand Prix of Indy to lead home Graham Rahal by over 20-seconds.
Having qualified seventh, Dixon got his break when the race’s first caution was waved when Oliver Askew crashed at the final corner in the Arrow McLaren SP entry on lap 36 of 80.
The star of qualifying, Askew was contesting his first road course race but suffered a tumultuous start falling to seventh as Dixon made a strong getaway on the slower, more durable, primary tyres.
The Kiwi had just made his penultimate stop before the yellow flag and was able to jump many key rivals including pole-sitter Will Power and Josef Newgarden.
Donning the softer Firestone alternative Reds for his final two stints, Dixon was then able to overtake Rahal, who had had his strategy compromised, before building a 10-second margin in time for his final stop.
And by the time the last cycle of stops had ensued, Dixon had built his margin to 19-seconds which he would duly hold to the line.
Early leader Power stalled as he was leaving his pitbox, requiring his Penske crew to re-fire the #12 Chevrolet. By the time he got going again he was down in 23rd, coming home down 20th in yet another disappointing race for the Australian.
Over the final laps, there was a lively battle between Colton Herta, Rinus VeeKay and Chip Ganassi Racin’s Marcus Ericsson, while up ahead Rahal was compelled to show his defensive prowess as Pagenaud came on the assault.
With eight laps to go, Pagenaud was just one second away from Rahal but the RLLR Honda did just enough to retain second by conserving more available push-to-pass albeit 20sec behind Dixon.
Dixon’s victory, the 48th of his illustrious career, means he extends his points leads and puts an end to Penske’s streak of dominance around the Indianapolis road course.
Herta came home fourth ahead of ECR’s rookie VeeKay and the next highest Ganassi car, that of Ericsson.
|21||Dalton Kellett||-1 lap|
|22||Marco Andretti||-1 lap|
|23||Sage Karam||-1 lap|
|24||Spencer Pigot||-6 laps|
|25||Alexander Rossi||-39 laps|
|26||Oliver Askew||-46 laps|