Dixon notches up third win in a row, Power runner-up

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon remains unbeaten after the first three IndyCar races of 2020 as Will Power finished second in the Road America opener.

Power (Team Penske) led at one point, barely holding off Dixon on the race track, but lost position with another pit lane issue and eventually finished 2.5s adrift of the #9 Chip Ganassi Racing entry.

Rookie Alex Palou (Dale Coyne Racing w/ Team Goh) rounded out the podium while Alexander Rossi’s nightmare start to the season continued with a finish of 19th.

Josef Newgarden had edged Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) to pole and while the latter started on Row 2 due to the split qualifying format, he was able to pressure the #1 Team Penske car for the lead through the opening corners.

Power dropped from fifth on the grid to eighth when he was baulked by front row starter Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing) and then copped a touch from Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan), while Dixon took up sixth.

Newgarden continued to lead, with Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) and Ferrucci having passed Hunter-Reay for second and third respectively, when Power was among the first to pit on Lap 13, from 10th.

That saw the Queenslander emerge third from the cycle, behind Newgarden and Ferrucci, Dixon was seventh, and Rahal sat outside the top 10 after a refuelling problem.

Palou held fourth but was coming under pressure from Hunter-Reay, Harvey, and Dixon by the time the latter peeled off on Lap 25.

Several more took their second stops in the next couple of laps, during which Newgarden stalled twice, Palou had a slow service, and Power therefore claimed the effective lead.

In keeping it, he had to stave off a strong attack from Dixon while battling with cold tyres, before pulling a gap of almost two seconds, while Ferrucci ran third from Hunter-Reay, Harvey, and Palou.

Dixon closed back to within a second of the #12 Team Penske car before a Caution came on Lap 38 due to Harvey running off as a result of brake failure.

All pitted when the lane opened but a slow right-rear change cost Power a position, and Ferrucci dropped to seventh having been held up while trying to exit his pit box.

Hunter-Reay therefore rose to third, from Palou, Herta, and Newgarden, but the latter ran wide at the restart and gave up two positions.

The yellows were called again almost immediately due to an incident between Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing) and Pato O’Ward (McLaren SP) in which the former came off the worse.

Palou managed to pass Hunter-Reay for third upon the second restart, although he could not keep the place, then a third Caution came because of a Dalton Kellett (AJ Foyt Racing) off.

For what would be the final restart of the afternoon, Dixon led Power, Hunter-Reay, Palou, Colton Herta, Ferrucci, Rahal, Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing), Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske), and O’Ward, with eight laps off the 55 remaining.

Palou rounded up Hunter-Reay at Turn 1 and went after Power, although the top six remained unchanged thereafter.

Ericsson passed Rahal for seventh on the final lap before spinning at Canada Corner and ultimately finishing 10th, behind Rahal, O’Ward, and Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing).

Pagenaud lost out in a battle at the restart and took the chequered flag in 12th, two positions ahead of team-mate Newgarden.

Dixon’s series lead over the former is now 62 points, having won races from second, seventh, and ninth this year.

Power, whose earlier results were 13th and 20th, is up to seventh, albeit 83 points away from top spot.

Rossi is all the way back in 22nd in the standings after a first-lap off and late damage due to contact.

Another qualifying session and 55-lap take place tomorrow morning (AEST).

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Results: Race 3, Road America

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Race time/Split Pit stops Status Grid pos
1 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 1:54:09.8697 3 Running 9
2 12 Will Power D/C/F +2.5386 3 Running 5
3 55 Alex Palou (R) D/H/F +3.1928 3 Running 14
4 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay D/H/F +3.9844 3 Running 3
5 88 Colton Herta D/H/F +7.2493 3 Running 7
6 18 Santino Ferrucci D/H/F +8.2004 3 Running 6
7 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F +11.3554 3 Running 4
8 5 Pato O’Ward D/C/F +14.7846 3 Running 12
9 30 Takuma Sato D/H/F +15.0046 3 Running 15
10 8 Marcus Ericsson D/H/F +15.7661 3 Running 13
11 4 Charlie Kimball D/C/F +16.1702 3 Running 22
12 22 Simon Pagenaud D/C/F +17.6234 3 Running 17
13 21 Rinus VeeKay (R) D/C/F +19.1144 3 Running 16
14 1 Josef Newgarden D/C/F +19.1842 4 Running 1
15 7 Oliver Askew (R) D/C/F +20.9776 3 Running 21
16 26 Zach Veach D/H/F +22.6498 4 Running 20
17 59 Max Chilton D/C/F +37.4904 3 Running 18
18 10 Felix Rosenqvist D/H/F +1 lap 3 Running 8
19 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F +1 lap 5 Running 11
20 14 Dalton Kellett (R) D/C/F +1 lap 4 Running 23
21 20 Conor Daly D/C/F +14 laps 3 Contact 19
22 98 Marco Andretti D/H/F +16 laps 5 Mechanical 10
23 60 Jack Harvey D/H/F +18 laps 2 Off Course 2

Race winner: 55 laps
(C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)yre: F=Firestone

Series points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott Dixon 155
2 Simon Pagenaud 93
3 Colton Herta 88
4 Josef Newgarden 84
5 Graham Rahal 81
6 Ryan Hunter-Reay 73
7 Will Power 72
8 Pato O’Ward 66
9 Zach Veach 64
10 Marcus Ericsson 61
11 Santino Ferrucci 59
12 Rinus VeeKay 55
13 Conor Daly 55
14 Alex Palou 53
15 Charlie Kimball 50
16 Takuma Sato 45
17 Oliver Askew 42
18 Felix Rosenqvist 37
19 Jack Harvey 36
20 Marco Andretti 32
21 James Hinchcliffe 31
22 Alexander Rossi 31
23 Ed Carpenter 30
24 Max Chilton 27
25 Tony Kanaan 20
26 Dalton Kellett 19
27 Sage Karam 7
28 Spencer Pigot 7

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