Dixon nails third win at Texas track

Only two ahead of on-form Kiwi on Indycar vic­tory list

Hawke's Bay Today - - LOCAL NEWS -

Scott Dixon didn’t spend much time shar­ing the spot with Michael An­dretti for the third-most wins in Indycar his­tory.

A week af­ter a match­ing vic­tory, Dixon led the last 119 laps in the Indycar Se­ries race at Texas at the week­end to move ahead of An­dretti with career win No 43.

“It’s re­ally cool. Ob­vi­ously I have mas­sive re­spect for a lot of these driv­ers,” Dixon said. “But when you look at those names, A.J. Foyt, Mario An­dretti, Michael An­dretti, the Unsers, to me it still seems very strange that Dixon is on that list, too.”

Dixon trails only A.J. Foyt’s 67 wins and Mario An­dretti’s 52.

Af­ter tak­ing the lead on the

11⁄ 2- mile (2.4km) Texas oval in the 248-lap race, he never gave it up. It was Dixon’s third vic­tory at Texas, a week af­ter he won the first of the two races at Detroit.

“The car was just stuck,” Dixon said. “What­ever we did, the car was just nailed. It was a bit loose at times, but I can’t thank the team enough. The pit stops were fan­tas­tic.”

Be­fore sep­a­rate late in­ci­dents in­volv­ing Will Power and Ed Car­pen­ter, the top two fin­ish­ers at the In­di­anapo­lis 500, Dixon was close to lap­ping the field.

Indycar said Power and Car­pen­ter both would be pe­nalised for avoid­able con­tact with rookie driv­ers.

Power held the points lead com­ing into the race, but Dixon took over that with his 4.3-sec­ond win over Si­mon Pa­ge­naud. Alexan­der Rossi fin­ished third, with James Hinch­cliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay round­ing out the top five in the first night race of the sea­son.

Team Penske swept the top three qual­i­fy­ing spots. Pa­ge­naud started and fin­ished sec­ond, while pole­sit­ter Josef New­gar­den was 13th and Power fin­ished 18th.

The win gave Dixon a 23-point lead over Rossi af­ter nine of 17 races. Power was third, 36 be­hind Dixon. “It’s not bad,” Dixon said. “But it’s go­ing to be hard to hold on to. We’ll see how the next races go. The car has had good speed all sea­son and we’ll try to keep it go­ing.”

Photo / AP

Two wins in eight days have vaulted Scott Dixon up the Indycar stand­ings.

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