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Scott Dixon Holds Off Felix Rosenqvist At Mid-Ohio To Give Chip Ganassi 1-2 Finish

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Chris Jones/IndyCar Series

LEXINGTON, OHIO (Pittsburgh Sports Now) – PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon held off his hard-charging teammate Felix Rosenqvist to win Sunday’s NTT IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex.

The epic battle was one for the ages as Dixon was on older tires and Rosenqvist, a rookie, was going for his first win.  The pair made contact and raced each other hard but clean and Dixon and the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda crossed the finish line 0.0934-seconds ahead of Rosenqvist and the No. 10 Clover Honda.

“Oh man that was crazy,” said Dixon.  “With about 15-laps to go, I started moaning to the team.  I’m like, ‘man I think we’re going to have to pit again’.  I was just a sitting duck, and if I wasn’t his teammate I think he would’ve knocked me off.”

“I really want to credit Chip for letting us race,” said Rosenqvist.  “The last lap.  I think everyone really enjoyed that.  We were enjoying it.  We were banging wheels in turn 2 there, (it) was a little bit exciting.  Scott is always going to fight you hard, but fair and I think I did the same, and maybe one more lap we could have got him.”

The margin of victory, 0.0934-seconds, was the closest IndyCar finish at Mid-Ohio and the third closest on a road course in IndyCar history.

The history-making finish was a reminder that the 12-time IndyCar Championship team can never be counted out.

Rosenqvist started sixth and Dixon eighth and both cars began the race on the primary Firestone tires and all of the cars in front of the pair started on the alternate Firestone tires, which are faster but do not last as long.

Rosenqvist started sixth and worked his way up to third by lap 15.  The rookie passed Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi for second place on lap 19.

Dixon, was right behind moving in third on lap 20 and into second place when Rosenqvist came to pit road for his service on lap 29.

Will Power, who started on the pole and led the first 30-laps, came into the pits on lap 30 and Dixon came in right behind him.

Power’s teammates Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, who made their first stops earlier, inherited the lead and second place and stayed there until the next round of green-flag pit stops on lap 40.

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Disaster struck for Newgarden on the pit stop when fuel flow issues extended the stop to 13.9-seconds and Rosenqvist moved back into the lead at that point.

The Ganassi team chose a split-strategy for the two cars as Dixon was on a two-stop strategy and Rosenqvist was on a three-stop.

Rosenqvist pitted from the lead for the last time on lap 66 and his No. 10 NTT Data crew nailed it, changing 4-tires and adding fuel in just 6.9-seconds to get him out in second place.

Dixon led Rosenqvist by 9.7 seconds with 20-laps to go but as Dixon’s tires started going away his rookie teammate kept charging and cut the lead to 2-seconds with five laps to go and 0.3-seconds with the white flag waving, setting up that final lap battle.

“That’s what IndyCar racing is – it produces the best racing in the world,” said Dixon.

The victory was the 46th career victory for Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing’s 11th at Mid-Ohio.  The win was the team’s 108th in the series, breaking a tie with Newman-Haas Racing for second-most wins in history, trailing only Team Penske’s 210-wins.

Dixon’s 46th win leaves him within six of Mario Andretti (52) for second place on IndyCar’s all-time wins list.  A.J. Foyt ranks first with 67.

The victory also helped the Five-time Champion driver chisel some points off Newgarden’s points lead.  Dixon sits 62-points back with four races to go and double-points available at the season finale at Laguna Seca.

The second place finish for Rosenqvist was his first podium finish with the team and also helped him pad his lead in the “Rookie of the Year” standings.

Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Felix Rosenqvist (left) and Scott Dixon (right) spray champagne on each other after giving team owner Chip Ganassi a 1-2 finish at Mid-Ohio.

The NTT IndyCar Series visits the Keystone State next with The ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 18th.  Tickets are available on the track’s website at www.poconoraceway.com.

 

 

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IndyCar

INDYCAR Community Reacts To No Fans At Indy 500

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The INDYCAR community is reacting to the news that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has decided to run the Indy 500 on August 23 without fans in attendance.  The decision is a reversal of a plan set forth a few weeks ago where the event would be run in front of 25-percent of the capacity of the Speedway.

Speedway President J. Douglas Boles, who has been a guest on The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast, is appreciative of his team and the fans:

Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal took to social media to make some great points:

Spencer Pigot who drives for Steelers minority owner Rob Citrone and Robbie Buhl’s team Citrone Buhl Autosport with RLL also took to Twitter to express his feelings:

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson also weighed in:

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Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Real and Alexander Rossi, two former 500 winners had this to say:

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who’s boss owns the Speedway has a great idea:

Stay tuned to Pittsburgh Racing Now for updated comments from the INDYCAR Community

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No Fans At Indianapolis 500 in 2020

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IndyCar Series

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is cancelling plans to have fans at the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 mile race.

“It is with great regret that we announce the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 will take place on Aug. 23 without fans.  This tough decision was made following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership” the Speedway said in a statement.

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“As dedicated as we were to running the race this year with 25 percent attendance at our large outdoor facility, even with meaningful and careful precautions implemented by the city and state, the COVID-19 trends in Marion County and Indiana have worsened.  Since our June 26 announcement, the number of cases in Marion County has tripled while the positivity rate has doubled.  We said from the beginning of the pandemic we would put the health and safety of our community first, and while hosting spectators at a limited capacity with our robust plan in place was appropriate in late June, it is not the right path forward based on the current environment.”

The Speedway is closing all on-track activity to the general public, including practice and qualifications.  Ticket holders will be credited for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 and will retain their seniority and their originally assigned seats.

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IndyCar

The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 15 – Aaron Reutzel, Matthew Dillner, Chip Ganassi and more!

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast features the 2-time and defending Champion of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 Aaron Reutzel.  We also talk to Matthew Dillner of Dirty Mo Media about the new show he co-hosts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chip Ganassi takes his own trip down memory lane and we hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about safety protocols in place at this year’s Indy 500.

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