After a late race charge from Takuma Sato, Scott Dixon gets some semblance of revenge on the man that beat him at the Indianapolis 500 last weekend, as he won the first leg of the Bommarito Automotive 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
With rain looming over the 2.01 km oval, things were hectic from the start of the race. Even before the green flag chaos would ensue, triggering a six car pileup. A late start on track saw rookie Alex Palou attempt to pop out of line, which prompted Simon Pagenaud and Oliver Askew to follow him.
Askew plowed into Pagenaud as everyone checked up, triggering a domino effect sending Pagenaud into Alexander Rossi. His wasn’t the only race that was over before it began. Ed Carpenter, Marco Andretti, and Zach Veach all received terminal damage from the incident. Rossi would finish twenty second, only compounding his miserable luck this season.
Palou and Askew were handed penalties for the incident.
Pagenaud would try to continue, but a problem shifting meant he could not keep up with the performance barrier and was asked to retire from the race. He would finish nineteenth.
The race finally had green flag running on lap 13, as the front row starters Will Power and Pato O’Ward darted away from the pack.
Power would lead the first 61 laps of the race, up until the first round of pit stops. O’Ward’s brilliant pit stop on lap 61 would see him jump Power who came in the very next lap. Scott Dixon was able to overcut Power as well after his pit stop on lap 64.
Meyer Shank Racing‘s Jack Harvey found himself in fourth place behind Power, after a great qualifying and pit stop saw him jump a few drivers.
O’Ward would do to Dixon what Power did to him, dominating the next stint. On lap 109, caution came out for the aforementioned rain hitting the track. This would trap drivers like Josef Newgarden, Power, Conor Daly, and Harvey a lap down, all but ruining their chances of winning the race.
Power would also get a right rear puncture late in the race, forcing an extra pit stop. He would finish seventeenth.
On the pit stop, O’Ward was able to beat Dixon out of the pits by the finest of margins, maintaining his lead. Behind the two leaders would be Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammates of Marcus Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist.
The restart came on lap 122, and O’Ward launched away from the pack, gaining a lead of almost one second in less than five laps. Rosenqvist had a great save in turn two after a snap of oversteer, but the pack swallowed him up and spat him back out in ninth place.
The leaders started to come in for their finals stops at lap 150, with O’Ward and Dixon making theirs at lap 162. Even after a great pit stop from the Arrow McLaren SP team, it wasn’t enough to keep Dixon from jumping them.
Not only would Dixon jump O’Ward, Sato, who was the last to pit on lap 174, would cycle himself out into third place. Even after an issue getting his right rear tyre on and off the car, Sato was able to come out ahead of fourth place Colton Herta and quickly get around O’Ward on lap 179 with a very bold move around the outside.
Sato would furiously charge up to Dixon, getting closer and closer with each lap as the five time series champ caught the tail end of the lead lap cars. Sato wouldn’t have enough laps to make the move happen however, and Dixon collected his fourth win of the season.
This win means Dixon has now won half of the races this season, and holds a triple-digit points lead over Josef Newgarden, who finished twelfth.
Rookie Rinus Veekay impressed again, as the 19 year old Dutchman was able to come home sixth on an alternate strategy. IndyCar legend Tony Kanaan also deserves special mention coming home ninth in what could possibly be his last weekend behind the wheel of an IndyCar.
The drivers will get another shot tomorrow afternoon with another 200 lap race. Same time, same track.
|1||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:44:31|
|2||30||Takuma Sato||JPN||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||-0.140 sec|
|3||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||-7.000|
|4||88||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti-Steinbrenner Autosport||-7.701|
|5||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||-8.350|
|6||21||Rinus VeeKay (R)||NED||Ed Carpenter Racing||-12.414|
|7||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||-13.055|
|8||10||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||-13.810|
|9||14||Tony Kanaan||BRA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||-15.031|
|11||60||Jack Harvey||ENG||Meyer Shank Racing||-16.260|
|12||1||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||-16.815|
|13||4||Charlie Kimball||USA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||-21.407|
|14||7||Oliver Askew (R)||USA||Arrow McLaren SP||-24.014|
|15||55||Alex Palou (R)||ESP||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Team Goh||-24.695|
|16||18||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan||-27.093|
|17||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||-2 laps|
|18||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Mechanical|
|19||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||Mechanical|
|20||20||Ed Carpenter||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||Crash|
|21||26||Zach Veach||USA||Andretti Autosport||Crash|
|22||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||Crash|
|23||98||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti and Curb-Agajanian||Crash|