Road America IndyCar: Scott Dixon upstages Penske for Ganassi win – IndyCar

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Scott Dixon overturned a weekend of Penske dominance to win his and Ganassi’s first IndyCar race of 2017 at Road America.

He narrowly fended off Josef Newgarden, who led a quartet of Penske Dallara-Chevrolets in second to fifth.

A great restart after the first of two caution periods got Dixon ahead of Newgarden and he had the speed to ensure he stayed in front until the chequered flag.

In the first half of the 55-lap race, the Team Penske cars carried on the form they had showed in practice and qualifying as polesitter Helio Castroneves and Newgarden battled for the lead.

Both were running a three-stop pit strategy, but Newgarden pitted one lap after Castroneves and used his fresher tyres to good effect as he went round the outside of Castroneves at the first corner on lap 20.

Newgarden ran at the front until the first caution, caused by Takuma Sato spinning and stalling on the kink on the back straight.

By that time Dixon, who had shadowed the Penske drivers early on, had moved up to thanks with slick stops and rapid in/out-laps.

At the restart Newgarden’s harder Firestone tyres were not at the right temperature and Dixon used his soft tyres to replicate Newgarden’s move on Castroneves by going round the outside at the first corner.

Dixon proceeded to pull away in his Honda-powered machine and made a second strong restart.

That caution had been caused when Tony Kanaan violently hit the wall at the same place Sato went off, having clipped Alexander Rossi.

As the race went green with seven laps to go, Dixon used his push-to-pass boost to stay ahead, take victory and extend his lead in the championship standings to 34 points.

Third place went to Castroneves. Leader for most of the first stint, he didn’t have the pace after his initial pitstop and couldn’t keep up with the front pair.

He mistakenly pitted one lap early for his final stop and had to switch to a fuel-saving strategy in the closing laps.

Fourth place went to another Penske car as Simon Pagenaud got the upper hand on his team-mate Will Power, who had to give up positions on several occasions after stewards judged him to have blocked rivals.

Charlie Kimball secured sixth place using the good pace of the Chip Ganassi car to get the better of Ed Jones, who himself had a strong race to move up from his starting position of 11th for Dale Coyne Racing.

RESULTS – 55 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1h47m18.9870s
2 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 0.5779s
3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 4.1918s
4 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 4.9721s
5 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 5.7227s
6 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 14.7178s
7 Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 21.6338s
8 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 22.2273s
9 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 23.3076s
10 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 24.3586s
11 Carlos Munoz AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 26.1402s
12 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 33.4983s
13 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 38.1370s
14 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 39.8433s
15 Conor Daly AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 43.1988s
16 J.R. Hildebrand Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1m16.5039s
17 Esteban Gutierrez Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 1m28.4634s
18 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1 Lap
19 Takuma Sato Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1 Lap
20 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 2 Laps
21 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda Contact

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Scott Dixon 379
2 Simon Pagenaud 345
3 Helio Castroneves 342
4 Takuma Sato 323
5 Josef Newgarden 318
6 Will Power 316
7 Graham Rahal 307
8 Tony Kanaan 273
9 Alexander Rossi 271
10 Ed Jones 254
11 Max Chilton 251
12 James Hinchcliffe 242
13 Marco Andretti 222
14 Mikhail Aleshin 212
15 Ryan Hunter-Reay 210
16 J.R. Hildebrand 205
17 Carlos Munoz 199
18 Charlie Kimball 172
19 Conor Daly 155
20 Spencer Pigot 142
21 Sebastien Bourdais 136
22 Ed Carpenter 124
23 Juan Pablo Montoya 93
24 Gabby Chaves 83
25 Oriol Servia 61
26 Fernando Alonso 47
27 Esteban Gutierrez 40
28 Sebastian Saavedra 33
29 Pippa Mann 32
30 Jay Howard 24
31 Zach Veach 23
32 Sage Karam 23
33 James Davison 21
34 Jack Harvey 17
35 Tristan Vautier 15
36 Buddy Lazier 14



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