ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin– If Race 1 of the REV Group Grand Prix provided by AMR Doubleheader was any indicator, it’s going to take more than an action-packed race and a series of late-race cautions to beat Scott Dixon in 2020.
Dixon’s win Saturday follows victories June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway and July 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I don’t understand how that happened, male,” Dixon stated. “We came out of the pits (on Lap 28), and they said, ‘You and Power are very first and second.’ I resembled: ‘How? How?’ I understand we had big out laps and a huge in lap. Absolutely proud to be powered by Honda here.
“The vehicle is hard to drive. Huge thanks to everyone on the PNC team. We dialed it in a bit during the race however still actually challenging on the rears. Hard to keep them under you. It looked like a lot of other people were having a hard time. That was incredible, man.”
2014 series champ Will Power finished second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 2.5386 seconds behind Dixon. Rookie Alex Palou completed the podium with the finest surface of his young profession in the No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda. 2012 series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay completed fourth in the No. 28 DHL Honda, and Colton Herta rounded out the top-five in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda.
The win was Dixon’s 49th career INDYCAR success, inching him closer to Mario Andretti, who sits 2nd on the all-time series wins list with 52 victories.
Pit lane showed to be a difficult place, too, particularly for the Team Penske colleagues of Josef Newgarden and Power.
Defending race winner Alexander Rossi continued his string of bad luck this season and was the first veteran to have issues near the beginning of the race. He went off course and struck signs positioned in the grass along the track. Rossi had to pit to get rid of signs from his front wing however continued.
A thrilling very first lap that featured 3- and four-wide racing and vibrant go by Hunter-Reay, Rinus VeeKay in the No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet and Santino Ferrucci in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda set the tone for an action-packed day in Elkhart Lake.
Dixon’s win at Road America broke the streak of 9 various winners in the last 9 races at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn long-term roadway course. Dixon won this race in 2017.
Nevertheless, this win didn’t include the dominant Dixon efficiency that the Chip Ganassi Racing group showed in the very first 2 races of the season. Dixon qualified ninth, his least expensive beginning spot of 2020.
Shortly thereafter, the track showed to be a tall obstacle even for the most seasoned motorists, as all 3 previous winners at Road America went into in the field had difficulty on the track and on pit lane.
On Lap 28, NTT P1 Award winner Newgarden stalled on pit roadway, and his crew had trouble restarting the engine. The incident dropped Newgarden from the lead to 12th position when the green flag pit stops cycled through. Newgarden, who 25 of the very first 27 laps from pole, settled for a 14th-location finish in his No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet.
Then, on Lap 51, contact with Max Chilton’s No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet required Rossi off track with more problems and led to a 19 th-place finish in the No. 27 AutoNation/NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda.
Newgarden’s pit lane event enabled Power to inherit the lead under green after rest stop cycled through, with Dixon close behind. A Lap 40 pit stop under caution proved troublesome for Power when the crew had trouble dropping the jack. The concern provided Dixon the lead for good exiting the pits and assisted cement his triumph.
The pit stop that provided Dixon the lead came under the very first full-course yellow this racetrack has actually seen in three years when the 2017 edition of the race had two cautions and included Dixon as the winner.
“I don’t know what occurred on the pit stop there,” Power said. “I think we had actually Dixon covered. He was pretty excellent, however I don’t believe he would have got by us.”
The care flag flew for the very first time on Lap 38 when Jack Harvey discovered himself stuck in the gravel pit, ending what was forming up to be a strong day for the chauffeur of the No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda.
On the reboot on Lap 42, contact between Pato O’Ward’s No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and Conor Daly’s No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet in Turn 5 drew out the second caution. The two went into the corner side-by-side, and contact sent Daly hard into the tire barriers, ending his day and resulting in a 21st-location finish. O’Ward completed and continued eighth.
And as the stating goes, warns breeds warns.
Then, the caution flag flew as soon as again on the Lap 45 reboot. Dalton Kellett had concerns in Turn 14 coming to the green flag and discovered himself stuck in the sand trap in his No. 14 K-Line USA/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet.
Dixon will look to make it four-straight wins to begin the NTT INDYCAR SERIES tomorrow in Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix provided by AMR Doubleheader at noon (ET, NBC) from Road America. Certifying starts at 9 a.m. (ET, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold).
The race rebooted with eight laps to go, and Dixon retreated from Power travelled house to victory. He averaged 116.027 mph in the 55-lap race that featured 5 lead modifications and five different leaders.
We dialed it in a bit during the race but still really tricky on the rears. 2014 series champion Will Power completed second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 2.5386 seconds behind Dixon. Novice Alex Palou rounded out the podium with the finest finish of his young profession in the No. 55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda. Defending race winner Alexander Rossi continued his string of bad luck this season and was the first veteran to have problems near the beginning of the race. Newgarden’s pit lane event permitted Power to inherit the lead under green after pit stops cycled through, with Dixon close behind.