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Dixon wins as Power regains points lead

Speedcafe.com

Monday 4th August, 2014 - 8:23am

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Scott Dixon defies the odds to win at Mid-Ohio after qualifying last

Scott Dixon defies the odds to win at Mid-Ohio after qualifying last

Scott Dixon pulled a dramatic last to first victory as the race for the Verizon IndyCar Series took a dramatic twist at the Mid-Ohio sports car course.

Dixon’s Chip Ganassi crew pulled a canny reverse strategy to give him a shot at victory after starting last in the 22-car field.

In the end Dixon pulled out a comfortable buffer to beat polesitter Sebastien Bourdais (KVSH Racing) with James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport) finishing third.

Ganassi team managing director Mike Hull became the architect of a most unlikely win by pulling a masterstroke on a caution just short of midway through the 90-lap affair by avoiding a pit stop.

As the race went green on lap 42, Dixon was able to drive away at the front on a light fuel load.

A later pit stop saw Dixon still hold the upper hand and he was ultimately able to defy the odds and coast over the final lap as his fuel warning light illuminated.

Fearing the Target Chevrolet was down to its final drops, the Kiwi was told to shut his machine down shortly after the chequered flag or face a long walk back to the pits.

“Our race was going so poor from the start. We tried to switch strategies a couple of times and then we got lucky with that caution,” Dixon said.

“Our fuel number was extremely close but we still had the speed.”

In a dramatic twist to the top of the championship standings Will Power (Team Penske) wrested back to the points lead by finishing sixth.

His team-mate Helio Castroneves had a disastrous race after encountering an engine mapping problem from the start, he finished four laps down in 19th place, the last of the classified finishers.

As a result Power turned a 13-point deficit to Castroneves going into the race to a four point lead.

A gutted Castroneves said: “Man that sucks. I actually noticed the problem when they said ‘gentlemen start your engines’.

“It was something on the mapping … one little number that probably didn’t go where it was supposed to.”

The 2013 Mid-Ohio winner Charlie Kimball (Ganassi) was seventh one place ahead of his team-mate Ryan Briscoe.

The series takes a week off before resuming at Wisconsin from August 15-17 ahead of the final two rounds at Sonoma and Fontana.

Meanwhile England’s Jack Harvey completed a clean sweep of the double-header Indy Lights races at Mid-Ohio.

Harvey beat Zach Veach with Gabby Chaves finishing third to maintain his lead in the championship.

It was a horror end to a difficult weekend for Matthew Brabham who suffered a cut tyre just after the start before he spun into Luiz Razia which resulted in a non-finish.

Brabham had earlier suffered a crash in practice before gearbox issues saw him lose a spot in the opening heat to finish fifth.

See below for full results

1

Scott Dixon

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

1:52:45.2043a

2

Sébastien Bourdais

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

5.3864

3

James Hinchcliffe

Dallara/Honda

90

7.3335

4

Carlos Muñoz

Dallara/Honda

90

9.3551

5

Graham Rahal

Dallara/Honda

90

11.8508

6

Will Power

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

15.9769

7

Charlie Kimball

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

16.8533

8

Ryan Briscoe

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

17.5020

9

Simon Pagenaud

Dallara/Honda

90

18.6160

10

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Dallara/Honda

90

20.0766

11

Juan Pablo Montoya

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

21.7366

12

Josef Newgarden

Dallara/Honda

90

22.0987

13

Mike Conway

Dallara/Chevrolet

90

23.8352

14

Mikhail Aleshin

Dallara/Honda

90

29.8060

15

Justin Wilson

Dallara/Honda

90

44.6415

16

Jack Hawksworth

Dallara/Honda

90

58.7211

17

Carlos Huertas

Dallara/Honda

90

1:02.5847

18

Takuma Sato

Dallara/Honda

89

1 Lap

19

Hélio Castroneves

Dallara/Chevrolet

86

4 Laps

20

Sebastian Saavedra

Dallara/Chevrolet

24

Mechanical

21

Tony Kanaan

Dallara/Chevrolet

0

Contact

22

Marco Andretti

Dallara/Honda

0

Contact

Full championship points

1

Will Power

548

2

Hélio Castroneves

544

3

Ryan Hunter-Reay

485

4

Simon Pagenaud

484

5

Juan Pablo Montoya

447

6

Scott Dixon

440

7

Carlos Muñoz

416

8

Sébastien Bourdais

400

9

Tony Kanaan

389

10

Marco Andretti

383

11

Ryan Briscoe

368

12

James Hinchcliffe

366

13

Charlie Kimball

343

14

Justin Wilson

326

15

Mikhail Aleshin

314

16

Josef Newgarden

307

17

Jack Hawksworth

301

18

Graham Rahal

296

19

Carlos Huertas

278

20

Takuma Sato

246

21

Sebastian Saavedra

239

22

Mike Conway

235

23

Ed Carpenter

168

24

Oriol Servià

88

25

Kurt Busch

80

26

J.R. Hildebrand

66

27

Sage Karam

57

28

Luca Filippi

46

29

James Davison

34

30

Jacques Villeneuve

29

31

Alex Tagliani

28

32

Townsend Bell

22

33

Pippa Mann

21

34

Martin Plowman

18

35

Buddy Lazier

11

36

Franck Montagny

8

 

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