Dixon, Ganassi too good in Detroit Dual 1

Daniel Herrero

Sunday 3rd June, 2018 - 8:03am

Share:

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon used a combination of a quick pit stop and on-track speed to record his first win of this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series in the first of the Detroit Duals.

Dixon started on the outside of the front row but moved into a sizeable lead during the first pit stops cycle and was not troubled thereafter despite two late Cautions.

Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi made up the podium on a day dominated by Hondas as Will Power led the Chevrolet-powered cars in seventh.

Marco Andretti qualified on pole and the #98 Andretti-Herta w/Curb Agajanian Honda led until he peeled off for his first pit stop at the end of Lap 23.

Dixon ran second to that point, pitted a lap later in the #9 Chip Ganassi Honda, and emerged a couple of seconds ahead of Andretti.

Graham Rahal, the only driver to start the race on red tyres, took service another lap later again and split Dixon and Andretti.

While those three were going after two-stop races, Hunter-Reay and others opted for three-stoppers and the 2012 champion got out in just in front of team-mate Andretti after pitting a second time.

Crucially, he managed to keep the #28 Andretti Autosport Honda in front of #98 while under pressure on cold tyres in the first few corners of his out lap.

After half the 70 laps had been notched up, Dixon led Rahal, Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Rossi, Ed Jones, Takuma Sato, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, and Spencer Pigot.

Dixon might have made his pass in the pits but he disappeared into the distance during his middle stint and the margin at the front was over 16 seconds on Lap 45 when Rene Binder (#32 Juncos Racing Chevrolet) drew a local yellow by parking in the run-off at Turn 7.

The potential Caution drew all the front-runners into pit lane over the next two laps but it was actually Rahal that caused the race to be neutralised when he made heavy contact with the wall at Turn 13 on Lap 46.

The man who swept last year’s Duals had climbed up on the inside kerb, which appeared to push his #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda across to the other side of the road.

Dixon led Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Rossi, Jones, Sato, Power, Newgarden, Pigot, and Robert Wickens under Caution.

Racing resumed on Lap 54 and Sato (#30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) pounced on Jones (#10 Chip Ganassi Honda) at Turn 1.

The top four broke free as Sato and Jones continues to battle, but the Safety Car returned when debutant Santino Ferrucci was unloaded by Charlie Kimball on Lap 56.

Kimball hit the #19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda from behind on the run to Turn 7, Ferrucci spinning but luckily splitting Zach Veach (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda) and Tony Kanaan (#14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) as he speared across the track at the corner itself before a significant impact with the tyre wall.

The #23 Carlin Chevrolet driver would be handed a drive-through for avoidable contact.

Aside from Sato’s pass and Wickens getting by Pigot, the order was unchanged for the second restart on Lap 61.

Rossi rounded up Andretti through Turns 3 and 4 in a nervous moment for Andretti Autosport moments after that restart.

No one was threatening Dixon, however, as he won by 1.82s over Hunter-Reay.

Rossi gapped Andretti by over seven seconds in the final 10 laps, with Sato just behind in fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jones, Power, Wickens (#6 Schmidt Peterson Honda), Newgarden (#1 Team Penske Chevrolet), and Pigot (#21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet).

Simon Pagenaud was a notable outside the top 10, starting 13th and finishing 17th in the #22 Team Penske Chevrolet having gone for a third pit stop under the first Caution.

Rossi’s podium and Dixon’s win put them first and second in the title race, ahead of previous leader Power, with the second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit taking place on Monday morning at 0550 AEST.

Race results: Detroit Dual 1

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Race time/Split Pit stops Status Grid pos
1 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 1:39:24.6189 2 Running 2
2 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F +1.8249 3 Running 5
3 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F +4.1771 2 Running 4
4 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F +11.5191 2 Running 1
5 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F +11.8757 2 Running 7
6 10 Ed Jones D/H/F +13.7649 2 Running 11
7 12 Will Power D/C/F +15.0733 2 Running 6
8 6 Robert Wickens (R) D/H/F +21.4715 3 Running 3
9 1 Josef Newgarden D/C/F +21.5622 3 Running 14
10 21 Spencer Pigot D/C/F +21.9523 2 Running 12
11 5 James Hinchcliffe D/H/F +22.3158 4 Running 9
12 26 Zach Veach (R) D/H/F +23.0621 2 Running 16
13 18 Sebastien Bourdais D/H/F +23.3441 2 Running 17
14 14 Tony Kanaan D/C/F +26.1877 3 Running 15
15 4 Matheus Leist (R) D/C/F +26.5471 3 Running 21
16 20 Jordan King (R) D/C/F +27.0156 3 Running 20
17 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F +29.8038 3 Running 13
18 88 Gabby Chaves D/C/F +33.7246 3 Running 19
19 23 Charlie Kimball D/C/F +34.0911 3 Running 22
20 59 Max Chilton D/C/F +34.8584 3 Running 10
21 32 Rene Binder (R) D/C/F +3 laps 2 Running 23
22 19 Santino Ferrucci (R) D/H/F +15 laps 2 Contact 18
23 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F +25 laps 2 Contact 8

(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

Series points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Alexander Rossi 276
2 Scott Dixon 272
3 Will Power 269
4 Josef Newgarden 255
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 227
6 Robert Wickens 202
7 Graham Rahal 191
8 Sebastien Bourdais 185
9 Marco Andretti 175
10 Simon Pagenaud 168
11 James Hinchcliffe 163
12 Takuma Sato 130
13 Ed Jones 125
14 Tony Kanaan 122
15 Spencer Pigot 121
16 Ed Carpenter 118
17 Zach Veach 116
18 Gabby Chaves 112
19 Matheus Leist 109
20 Charlie Kimball 95
21 Max Chilton 84
22 Zachary Claman DeMelo 72
23 Jordan King 58
24 Carlos Munoz 53
25 Jack Harvey 53
26 Kyle Kaiser 45
27 Helio Castroneves 40
28 JR Hildebrand 38
29 Stefan Wilson 31
30 Rene Binder 31
31 Oriol Servia 27
32 Conor Daly 18
33 Danica Patrick 13
34 Jay Howard 12
35 Sage Karam 10
36 James Davison 10
37 Santino Ferrucci 8
38 Pietro Fittipaldi 7

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

Read the Speedcafe.com promise
Newsletter

Subscribe to our daily newsletter, the best way to get your news first, fast, and free!