Dixon Stays Clean; Wins Rugged Toronto Race

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 15 2018

Scott Dixon dominated the second half of Sunday’s IndyCar Series race in Toronto. (File photo courtesy of INDYCAR)


Scott Dixon powered to the lead when leader/polesitter Josef Newgarden side-swiped a concrete wall on a Lap 34 restart, and led the rest of the way en route to victory in Sunday’s IndyCar Series race on the streets of Toronto.

The victory in the 85-lapper allowed the Chip Ganassi Racing driver to extend his lead in the championship points column to 62 points over Newgarden.

The victory was the Australian driver’s 44th in the series.

It was win No. 3 on the season for Dixon in his No. 9 Honda and came in a race that was tough on carbon fiber bodies as several multi-car wrecks trimmed the field considerably.

“I’m all worn out, man,” Dixon said in Victory Circle. “That was definitely a physical race. With those stopped cars, it was definitely easy to pick up lots of debris on the tires.”

Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske survived the on-track craziness to finish second – 5.2 seconds behind Dixon. It was just the second podium finish of the season for the former series champion.

“The track was changing all the time,” Frenchman Pagenaud said. “Don’t know if it’s the dust or the tires. Very difficult but when we get a result like this, very rewarding.”

Rookie Canadian Robert Wickens of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports finished third. As he circled the track on the cool-down lap, his fellow Canadians gave him a standing ovation.

“It was amazing,” he said. “I’m not an overly teary guy but that was really cool. This whole week has been such a whirlwind of emotions. To stand on the podium in my first professional home race, couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Rounding out the top five were Canadian James Hinchcliffe of Schmidt Peterson and Charlie Kimball of Harding Racing.

“Our start didn’t go great,” Hinchcliffe said, “and obviously we were battling for position with Robbie [Wickens] there and got shuffled back behind Marco [Andretti]. That really was kind of the start of the end of a great result for us because we had pace, we just couldn’t get by him. We burned a lot of push-to-pass trying to get by him but just couldn’t do it… It’s unfortunate to waste so much time in the beginning of the race.

“On that restart melee, we got tagged by Takuma [Sato], which I should know better than staying on the inside of him in a corner like that. I bent the toe link, and from there, it was a bit of a struggle to feel the car out and see how it was going to change with the bend in the suspension. Honestly, the Arrow Electronics car was still pretty great, and in that last stint, we were chasing down the leaders. Who knows what could have been, but ultimately happy with Robbie being on the podium, and two SPM cars in the top five.”

Tony Kanaan gave team owner A.J. Foyt a solid finish of sixth.

Among those involved in wrecks were top drivers like Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato.

Even the ever-precise Dixon found the wall late in the race but his car was undamaged.

“Lack of concentration,” he said.

Dixon said the pass for the lead when Newgarden was forced into the wall when he drove into rubber “marbles” on the street surface, had him thinking.

“The first thing that pops into my mind was try not to do the same thing,” he said. “Definitely tough on those restarts.”


TORONTO – Results Sunday of the Honda Indy Toronto Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.786-mile streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (2) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running

2. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 85, Running

3. (10) Robert Wickens, Honda, 85, Running

4. (9) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 85, Running

5. (20) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 85, Running

6. (15) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 85, Running

7. (22) Zach Veach, Honda, 85, Running

8. (5) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 85, Running

9. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running

10. (14) Marco Andretti, Honda, 85, Running

11. (8) Jordan King, Chevrolet, 85, Running

12. (21) Ed Jones, Honda, 85, Running

13. (11) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 85, Running

14. (23) Zachary Claman De Melo, Honda, 85, Running

15. (12) Matheus Leist, Chevrolet, 85, Running

16. (6) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 84, Running

17. (19) Rene Binder, Chevrolet, 83, Running

18. (4) Will Power, Chevrolet, 83, Running

19. (17) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 83, Running

20. (16) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 76, Contact

21. (13) Graham Rahal, Honda, 68, Running

22. (7) Takuma Sato, Honda, 66, Contact 

23. (18) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 34, Contact

Race Statistics

Winner’s average speed: 93.898 mph

Time of Race: 1:37:00.3100

Margin of victory: 5.2701 seconds

Cautions: 3 for 12 laps

Lead changes: 9 among 8 drivers

Lap Leaders:

Newgarden, Josef 1 – 22

Power, Will 23

King, Jordan 24 – 29

Newgarden, Josef 30 – 32

Dixon, Scott 33 – 54

Pagenaud, Simon 55

Kanaan, Tony 56

Kimball, Charlie 57

Pigot, Spencer 58

Dixon, Scott 59 – 85

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings:

Dixon 464, Newgarden 402, Rossi 394, Hunter-Reay 373, Power 371, Wickens 339, Pagenaud 320, Rahal 313, Hinchcliffe 312, Andretti 266.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 15 2018
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