Fans back, Dixon wins 3rd straight in IndyCar

Enterprise-Record (Chico) - - SPORTS -

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. » Scott Dixon raced to his third straight vic­tory Satur­day with an im­prob­a­ble tri­umph in the opener of a week­end dou­ble­header at Road Amer­ica, as IndyCar wel­comed fans to its races for the first time this sea­son.

Dixon took the lead shortly af­ter a cau­tion flag and beat Will Power by 2.5386 sec­onds. They were fol­lowed in or­der by Alex Palou, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Colton Herta.

Dixon has won each of the three IndyCar races in the pan­demic-de­layed sea­son. He’s the first IndyCar driver to start a sea­son with at least three con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries since Se­bastien Bour­dais reeled off four straight to start the 2006 campaign.

The only other driv­ers to open an IndyCar sea­son with at least three straight vic­to­ries are A.J. Foyt (seven in 1964) and Al Unser (three in 1971).

This marked the first time spec­ta­tors were al­lowed in an IndyCar event this sea­son af­ter they weren’t per­mit­ted in races at Fort Worth or In­di­anapo­lis. IndyCar is treat­ing each event sep­a­rately and fol­low­ing lo­cal and state health reg­u­la­tions at each track as it de­cides whether to al­low fans.

Hockey

NHL, PLAY­ERS TAKE COL­LAB­O­RA­TIVE AP­PROACH » Given the grav­ity of the new coro­n­avirus pan­demic and the abrupt de­ci­sion to place the NHL sea­son on pause in March, it didn’t take com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman and union chief Don Fehr long to re­al­ize they were go­ing to have to work to­gether if play was to re­sume any time soon.

Nearly four months to the day since the last puck dropped, the two sides put aside past dif­fer­ences to have a re­turn-to-play plan in place, and the as­sur­ance of la­bor peace through Septem­ber 2026 to go with it.

“When we got to March 12 and de­cided to take the pause, that be­gan a pe­riod of per­haps un­prece­dented col­lab­o­ra­tion and prob­lem solv­ing,” Bettman said dur­ing a Zoom con­fer­ence call with re­porters, a day af­ter the league and play­ers rat­i­fied a 24-team ex­panded play­off, set to be­gin Aug. 1, and a four-year ex­ten­sion of the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment.

Base­ball

YANKS CLOSER CHAP­MAN HAS VIRUS » New York Yan­kees closer Aroldis Chap­man be­came the lat­est high-pro­file player to test pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, his di­ag­no­sis an­nounced hours af­ter the Hous­ton Astros can­celed an­other prac­tice due to virus con­cerns.

In New York, man­ager Aaron Boone said Chap­man wouldn’t “be here for the fore­see­able fu­ture.” Boone said the left-handed re­liever “over­all was do­ing well” and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mild symp­toms.

The Yan­kees are sched­uled to start the virus-de­layed sea­son on July 23 at the World Se­ries cham­pion Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als. The AL champ Yan­kees al­ready were miss­ing in­fielder D.J. LeMahieu.

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