TORONTO, ON (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Scott Dixon passed Colton Herta on lap 18 and led 44-laps en route to victory in Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Honda Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place. The victory was the 52nd of Dixon’s career which ties him with INDYCAR legend Mario Andretti for 2nd place on the all-time wins list. A.J. Foyt sits atop the list with 67-wins.
“For me to be a part of this team is what it’s all about,” said Dixon. “I think it’s my 21st season with Chip. All but one of those wins has been with him. Very thankful for what he’s done, what his team has done, what everybody puts into this team.”
Dixon started 2nd alongside Herta, who won the pole. Herta grabbed the lead on the drop of the green flag with Dixon and the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda settling into second place.
Dixon and his Chip Ganassi Racing team elected to bring Dixon to pit road for service on lap 17. Andretti Autosport brought Herta to pit road a lap later and as the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda exited the pits onto the main straightaway, Dixon was coming with a head of steam. The pair raced towards turn one but Dixon had the advantage with the momentum and hot tires and easily made the pass.
“My car was quite tricky to drive,” explained Dixon. “We had some previous races, like Detroit, where we had a lot of understeer. Did the warmup in the morning, get to the race, a lot of understeer. I think we over-corrected for that and the car was super loose.”
“I think Scott was probably the car that deserved to win,” said Herta. “He seemed to be just that little bit faster. I was pushing really hard in the middle of the stint, he was able to tick off each lap a 10th better. Usually the guy like that ends up winning, and he did.”
Dixon’s fourth career Toronto victory extended his record to 18 consecutive INDYCAR SERIES seasons with at least one win, and he also has won a race in a record 20 seasons overall.
Motorsports legend Mario Andretti took to social media to congratulation Dixon.
Utmost respect for my friend @scottdixon9 and truly happy to congratulate him on 52 wins. Also congratulate his team because nobody does it alone. I hope this is just a step on your continuing journey. Well done. @IndyCaronNBC
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) July 17, 2022
“I love Mario for so many reasons, what he’s done in the sport, achieved, what he gives back to the sport,” said Dixon. “It means a lot to me, to even be mentioned in the sale conversation as these greats. I never thought it was possible. For me, it’s a huge credit to obviously the team that I work with now, but also the team that I started with, whether it was mum and dad to my brothers and sisters, all of my family, to the Scott Dixon Motorsport Group, which were the founders of getting a group together to put forward money and enable to get me to where I am today.”
Felix Rosenqvist finished third in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Graham Rahal finished a season-best fourth in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda and NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship leader Marcus Ericsson finished fifth in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Ericsson extended his points lead over Team Penske’s Will Power from 20 to 35 points. Power finished 15th.
Dixon sits fifth in the standings, 44 points behind Ericsson. Dixon would tie Foyt as the all-time championship winner in INDYCAR SERIES history with a seventh title.
“Hopefully we’re kind of in the title hunt now,” said Dixon. “I’m hoping this is the start of the roll. I know the team definitely deserves it.”
Dixon has two opportunities to score points next weekend when the NTT INDYCAR SERIES heads to Iowa for Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway, featuring a doubleheader on the .875-mile oval. The Hy-VeeDeals.com 250 presented by DoorDash is scheduled for 4 p.m. (ET) Saturday (NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network), with the Hy-Vee Salute to Farmers 300 presented by Google at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday (NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network).
Scott Dixon wins NTT INDYCAR SERIES Music City Grand Prix; Moves to 2nd in Championship
NASHVILLE, TN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Scott Dixon is sitting second in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship standings after winning Sunday’s Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville.
“It was a wild day,” said Dixon. “We had a good start. I thought things were going well, and then we came in for the first stop, and the air jacks failed or the hose failed. We went all the way to the back and got into the chaos in turn five or six and just got rolled over the back and hit pretty hard.”
Dixon’s No. 9 PNC Bank crew assessed the damage and the 6-time Series Champion made four pit stops to fix the wounded machine.
“Actually, we couldn’t get the wheel off because it was stuck on the brake caliper,” explained Dixon. “Took the team a lot of time to get that off, but then it ripped a bunch of the underfloor off of the car as well and all the strakes.”
Dixon returned to the fight and inherited the lead when Josef Newgarden hit pit road for fuel and held off Scott McLaughlin following a restart with 2-laps to go to pick up his second win of the year and 53rd of Dixon’s career, which gives him sole position of second-place on the All-time INDYCAR wins list. A.J. Foyt is the All-Time leader with 67 wins.
Dixon and the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda started 15th in the field and picked up a number of spots at the start of the race and settled into top 10 as McLaughlin, who started on the pole, took control out front early.
McLaughlin led 22-laps but dropped into the middle of the field in the middle part of the race.
“We had a fast car,” said McLaughlin. “I was in control early in the race and I knew early in the race I had a car that could pass. We had one costly pit-stop that put me back to 16th. I was pissed off and dropped the hammer.”
McLaughlin however couldn’t get Dixon on the final restart.
“I probably played it a little safe,” said McLaughlin. “The opportunity was there a couple of times but we both would’ve ended up in the fence if I would’ve taken it. To go toe-to-toe with Scotty was phenomenal and a very cool thing for my racing career.”
Dixon knew he had to get a good restart because his car was battered and bruised.
“The car was bent and broken, but for us I think strategy-wise to take no tires on that last stop was probably the key,” said Dixon. “We were able to jump a couple and have enough fuel to get towards the end, and to the end, but it was very difficult to drive. The car just had no grip. Each time we had a restart, I was just praying for another accident. Some of those came. Some of them didn’t. Another lap with McLaughlin would have been extremely tough to hold him off. He was just super fast, and I think just in a better situation.”
Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou, the defending Series Champion, finished third after leading the second portion of the race.
“I think Nashville is kind of like the Indy 500 where there are so many things happening, and you just need to survive and have a good car and a car in one piece at the end,” said Palou.
The win leaves Dixon six-points behind leader Will Power in the Championship standings. Palou’s third place finish leaves him 33-points out of the lead with three races to go.
The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES event is the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline on Saturday, Aug. 20 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Live coverage on the USA Network and the INDYCAR Radio Network of the last oval race of the season starts at 6 p.m. ET.
Pato O’Ward wins 2nd race of INDYCAR doubleheader after Newgarden crashes
NEWTON, IA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Pato O’Ward won race two of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader at Iowa Speedway, beating Team Penske’s Will Power by 4.2476-seconds.
O’Ward was in the position after Penske’s Josef Newgarden crashed after leading 148 of the first 234-laps.
“I knew we had the pace to win one,” said O’Ward. “The problem was just trying to get up to Josef. One thing is getting up to him, and one thing is passing him. I’m glad he’s okay. We took advantage of the opportunity that presented itself. I just walked away with it. I knew we had the pace to do it.”
“Man, I want to cry,” said Newgarden. “So sad for my team. I don’t know what happened. It was a good run. I feel terrible for us. I don’t know; something went wrong there.”
Newgarden was treated and released at the infield care center but later collapsed in the Motorhome lot and hit his head. He was admitted overnight in Iowa for observation before being released the following day. Newgarden’s status for Saturday’s race on the road course at Indianapolis is pending INDYCAR Medical Team clearance.
Newgarden’s Penske teammates Will Power finished second followed by Scott McLaughlin in third.
“The car was really good,” said Power. “I probably could have been more aggressive in that second-to-last stint because it seemed like there’s a lot less deg. Must have cooled or the track took a lot of rubber or something. The track was really fast.”
“Midway through the race today, the car was a bit of a handful and I wasn’t too happy,” said McLaughlin. “Managed to get my head down, did some really good pit exchanges, managed to get ourselves into P4 there before the last caution. Then P3 on Dixon, which was a fun pass. I really enjoyed that. It was a really good exchange with him all race.”
The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race is the Gallagher Grand Prix on Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of the INDYCAR/NASCAR Doubleheader weekend.
Newgarden wins first of INDYCAR Doubleheader at Iowa
(Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden picked up his fourth win of the season taking race one of the HyVee Doubleheader NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Iowa Speedway.
Newgarden beat Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward by 6.1784 seconds en route to his 24th career victory.
“I love this place,” said Newgarden. “I mean, not just because we’re good here. Obviously that makes it better, but it’s a really fun track to race at. You have two lanes to run on, sometimes three. That’s abnormal for us in a lot of ovals we go to. It’s the most exciting race we get to partake in in INDYCAR from an oval standpoint.”
“I thought we had a little bit more for Josef in the end,” said O’Ward. “He was really strong. I had to use my tires a bit much. I think Will was on the same train battling with me and Palou, Marcus. So, I think we used up our tires a little bit more than what Josef did. He had a little bit more to give in the end.”
Power, the race’s pole-sitter, finished third.
“Last restart is what hurt me the most, trying to keep guys behind,” said Power. “Had a couple of big yaw moments on the rear tire early. Pounded on that rear too much to stay ahead. Then went loose, really loose. I had some big saves. I was happy to end up third actually.”
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay finished fourth in the No. 21 Bitcoin Racing Team with BitNile Chevrolet, his second top-four finish in his last three starts. Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon followed his victory last Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto by finishing fifth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
“It was a tough day,” said Dixon. “Our car was really good on the long run. We’ve got a lot of work to do tonight to get our cars better.”
Race 2 of the Doubleheader is Sunday at 3:30 p.m.