Scott Dixon, in his Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet, took a hard fought win at the Texas Motor Speedway as the Verizon IndyCar Series headed back to the ovals.
Dixon led almost 100 laps of the 248 laps of the Fort Worth speedway, and with only a single caution period for debris throughout the entire race, the field were free to fight near enough every lap.
It is no surprise then that Dixon set a track record for average speed – 191.94MPH – but more surprising is that as the chequered flag flew nearest rival Tony Kanaan was almost eight seconds behind the Kiwi in second place.
However, Kanaan did beat Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves into third place achieving a Ganassi 1-2 in the Lone Star state.
With Juan Pablo Montoya just missing out on a podium in fourth place, it did cement a Chevrolet lock out of the first two rows. The fastest Honda was the Andretti Autosport entry of Marco Andretti.
One Honda not having a good day was Jack Hawksworth in the A.J Foyt entry as he retired with less than a quarter of the laps in the books.
Back at the front, Ganassi are now only one win away from a century in the series with Dixon taking win 99, but he admits it wasn’t easy.
“It’s never easy. Even toward the second-to-last stint we were just trying to make changes to the car,” said Dixon, who grabbed the lead in a pit-stop exchange on Lap 194 and led all but one lap the rest of the way.
“It didn’t start awfully good because we had a lot of understeer in the car, but once we got the balance right, the car was basically on rails. With the pit-stop exchange we got the lead, and then the car was just very good in traffic and were able to keep the speed up. I knew, once we got the balance right, we could get up there and duel with (Kanaan) to the end.
“This racing is great and you’ve got to give Firestone a lot of credit. They give us a tire that is very durable and safe.”
Of note elsewhere at the race, James Hinchcliffe – who is recovering nicely after his horrific incident at Indy – gave the grid the command to start their engines.