Scott McLaughlin led home Scott Dixon in a Kiwi 8-9 in today’s GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
McLaughlin ran in the top crop of cars for the entire race, only shuffling outside the top ten during the pitstop phases.
Clean pitstops and steering clear of trouble meant McLaughlin easily crossed the line eighth – his second-best career result.
Though McLaughlin did initially look to be en route for a top-six, potentially top-five result until his final stint.
There he slipped back to eighth, finishing just 0.6s ahead of a hard-charging Dixon.
The race was won by Rinus Veekay, whose superior tyre strategy leapt him ahead of polesitter Romain Grosjean midway through the race.
Veekay made his second pitstop for the quicker red tyres a handful of laps before Grosjean.
When Grosjean made his stop, which would be for the slower primary tyres, he re-emerged fractionally in front of Veekay.
However, Veekay was hot on Grosjean’s tail and he swept past with relative ease.
From there, Veekay and Grosjean both made one further round of pitstops, though nothing changed position-wise.
The result is Veekay’s first IndyCar race win and it comes at the same circuit he earned his debut podium at last year.
Dixon put aside his qualifying woes from yesterday with a robust drive from 16th to ninth.
The Kiwi’s break came due to an early pitstop under the race’s only yellow flag.
Conor Daly was tangled up in a lap one, turn one kerfuffle, which left him stuck in the infield.
Dixon took the opportunity to pit for red tyres, getting rid of his obligation to run the slower primary tyres.
In doing so, Dixon re-altered his strategy and would be doing one more pitstop than the rest of the field.
Still, the decision paid dividends and Dixon was able to put the hammer down in the final stint to snare a top ten result.
The defending champion thus keeps his streak of top tens this season alive.
The next race on the championship calendar is the Indy 500 at the end of May.