Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon has made it three wins from three races in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series after claiming victory at the first event of the weekend at REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.
Dixon had started back in ninth, however, made places through clever strategy and a good fortune was able to bring the No.9 PNC Bank Honda to victory lane.
With no less than three caution periods in the final 15 laps of the race, the Kiwi was able to utilise his wealth of experience to fend off long-term rival Will Power to take a 49th career win – now just three behind the legendary Mario Andretti.
Dixon has not achieved such a feat since 2013 where he won in Pocono and the Toronto doubleheader.
Despite complaining about the driveability of his No.12 Penske-Chevrolet Power was able to secure second place after a tricky race.
Having led for the majority of the middle stint of the race, the Australian’s race was hindered when a caution came out for the stricken Jack Harvey, with Dixon jumping Power in the final round of pit stops due to a mechanic not pulling out the air jack quickly enough.
After a difficult start to the season, rookie Alex Palou got by 2012 series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in the final laps to secure his first IndyCar podium with a brilliant drive from 14th on the grid for Dale Coyne Racing and Team Goh.
Hunter-Reay was unable to do anything about the pace of Palou in the final laps and claimed fourth place in the No.28 DHL-Honda. Andretti Autosport team-mate Colton Herta crossed the line in fifth, making it his third race inside the top 10 in 2020.
Dale Coyne’s Santino Ferrucci finished down in sixth despite having been in the running for a podium for the majority of the race. The Connecticut-born driver lost places in the pit lane having to get out of the way of A.J Foyt’s Dalton Kellett.
Graham Rahal had to settle for seventh place for RLL after a difficult race; fuel flow issues in a pit stop saw him drop him down the field after stopping from second place.
Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward crossed the line in eighth, the Mexican led quite an anonymous race until he made contact with Ed Carpenter’s Conor Daly with 14 laps to go. O’Ward managed to escape without damage while Daly’s car crashed heavily into the barrier.
O’Ward also got in more controversy as he battled Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, with the pair battling hard and the Frenchman feeling he was pushed off the track by O’Ward at Turn 5 with six laps to go.
Takuma Sato ended the afternoon in ninth place to make it two Rahal Letterman Lanigan cars inside the top 10, while Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson had to settle for the final spot in the top 10 after the Swede made a costly mistake at Canada Corner on the final lap dropping him from seventh place.
It was a very disappointing day for reigning champion Josef Newgarden; having held a commanding lead from pole position, his race was spoilt after he stalled leaving his pit garage on lap 27. He ended the race in 14th.
Alexander Rossi’s woeful start to 2020 also continued after a first-lap off was followed by a late clash with Carlin’s Max Chilton.
The second race of the REV Group Grand Prix of Road America is set to get underway on Sunday with qualifying at 10:00am local time and race following at 12:00pm.