Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon made it two wins out of two in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series after capitalising on a mid-race caution period at the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
High temperatures at Indianapolis meant tyres were suffering more than usual, prompting split strategies from the field.
Dixon had just made his second stop of the race two laps before the race’s sole caution period for the wreckage at the final corner after Arrow McLaren SP’s Oliver Askew got sideways and hit the outside wall.
The strategy call and fortunate timing meant the door was left wide open for Dixon to cycle to the front of the pack and oversee control of the race until the chequered flag in a commanding position.
Despite his five championships, Dixon has never taken back-to-back victories to open the season during his time racing in the US since his title-winning Indy Lights campaign in 2000.
RLL’s Graham Rahal was one of a handful of drivers who attempted the two-stop strategy and made it work to his advantage to finish in second place, albeit 20 seconds behind the imperious Dixon.
Simon Pagenaud suffered greatly in qualifying and started the race from 20th, despite a tough opening stint for the Frenchman, the three-time winner of the event was able to claw his way back to claim the final spot on the podium after a close battle with Rahal in the final laps.
Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta crossed the line in fourth place while ECR’s Rinus VeeKay bounced back from a tough debut last time out at Texas Motor Speedway to classify fifth.
Marcus Ericsson followed closely behind, crossing the line in sixth place, as he gained eight spots from his starting position.
Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden looked to be in the prime place to challenge Penske team-mate Will Power before the caution changed the complexion of the race. He would eventually finish in seventh, just ahead of AMSP’s Pato O’Ward in eighth.
Dale Coyne’s Santino Ferrucci made the most of a difficult race which saw his pit crew lose a wheelnut in a pit stop to finish in ninth. Takuma Sato rounded out the top 10 for RLL in the No.30 entry.
Despite starting on the front row, Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey suffered greatly under the caution period and dropped to the back of the pack, eventually finishing in 17th place.
Power also droped to the back due to a poorly-timed caution period and his day was made worse after stalling leaving his pit box leaving the Australian to finish in 20th.
Alexander Rossi’s tumultuous start to the 2020 season continued after he retired from the race with engine issues, making it two retirements from the two opening races.
Check out the full points standings after two rounds by clicking here.
IndyCar’s next stop will be at Road America for a double-header event next weekend on July 10-11.
|21||Dalton Kellett||-1 lap||–|
|22||Marco Andretti||-1 lap||–|
|23||Sage Karam||-1 lap||–|
|24||Spencer Pigot||-6 laps||1|
|25||Alexander Rossi||-39 laps||–|
|26||Oliver Askew||-46 laps||–|