Scott Dixon overcame the Team Penske challenge to clinch his first win of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season at Road America on Sunday, and in doing so extending his advantage at the top of the championship standings.
After locking out the top four places on the grid, Penske drivers were favourites to take victory on Sunday around the Elkhart Lake circuit, but Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dixon had other ideas, moving progressively through the quartet to assume the lead, and when there he was in complete control.
Josef Newgarden ended up being Dixon’s nearest challenger, but despite being on the red-walled tyres for the final stint as opposed to the blacks of Dixon, the American could not do anything about the Kiwi, ending up 0.5779 seconds back, with Penske finishing 2-3-4-5.
Helio Castroneves led the early laps but found himself finishing third as his wait for a return to victory lane continues – his last victory came around the Streets of Detroit back in 2014 – but the veteran Brazilian took his second podium of the season after his runners-up spot at the Indianapolis 500.
Reigning IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud finished just off the podium, while Will Power recovered to fifth after dropping a few places in the early stages of the race, with the Australian also twice asked by the stewards at Road America to give up positions after being deemed to have blocked them.
Charlie Kimball had a strong race to finish sixth for Chip Ganassi Racing, while Ed Jones’ impressive rookie season continued with a run to seventh for Dale Coyne Racing ahead of Graham Rahal, Max Chilton and Mikhail Aleshin.
There were two caution periods during the race, with Takuma Sato lucky to avoid too much damage when spinning at the Kink at the back of the circuit. The Andretti Autosport racer stalled on track and dropped a lap but was able to recover to the pits and resume.
The same however could not be said of Tony Kanaan, who crashed out at the same corner on lap 44. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver had clipped the rear wheel of Alexander Rossi as the two battled into the corner, damaging his own front wing, and with reduced downforce he went straight to the scene of the accident, ending his day with heavy contact into the wall.
Road America Race Result
|1||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||1:47:18.9870|
|2||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||+0.5779s|
|3||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||+4.1918s|
|4||1||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||+4.9721s|
|5||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||+5.7227s|
|6||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||+14.7178s|
|7||19||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing||+21.6338s|
|8||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+22.2273s|
|9||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||+23.3076s|
|10||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+24.3586s|
|11||14||Carlos Munoz||COL||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+26.1402s|
|12||20||Spencer Pigot||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+33.4983s|
|13||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||+38.1370s|
|14||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||+39.8433s|
|15||4||Conor Daly||USA||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+43.1988s|
|16||21||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+1:16.5039s|
|17||18||Esteban Gutierrez||MEX||Dale Coyne Racing||+1:28.4634s|
|18||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||+1 Lap|
|19||26||Takuma Sato||JAP||Andretti Autosport||+1 Lap|
|20||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+2 Laps|
|RET||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||Retired|