After two races, it appeared Scott Dixon has lost his touch.
With a 15th- and an 11th-place finish in the first two races of the IndyCar series, it looked like Dixon was going to spend most of the season in the middle of the pack.He knew better, though.
On Sunday, the three-time series champion found a way to put his Chevrolet in victory lane. After qualifying third, Dixon overtook Juan Pablo Montoya on lap two and then beat pole-sitter Helio Castroneves off of pit lane on lap 29. For the rest of the 80-lap race, Dixon made himself untouchable.
“This is huge,” Dixon said after the win. “I love the event, but as far as coming here and doing well, it hadn’t been on that list. That pit stop exchange definitely helped us get to the lead but the car was fast and all we had to do was maintain that lead.”
Castroneves looked like he had the car to beat on Sunday, but was forced to stay in his pitbox to avoid a collision with Tony Kanaan. He was held up only for a second, but that was all the time Dixon needed to take the lead.
Castroneves finished 2.2221 seconds behind Dixon, marking his second consecutive runner-up finish. The boost in points puts him just three behind series leader and Team Penske teammate Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya took third in the race, while Simon Pagenaud finished fourth and Kanaan took fifth.
Despite Castroneves and Montoya on the podium, it wasn’t all blue skies for Team Penske. Reigning series champion Will Power struggled all weekend. After qualifying 18th, his Chevrolet stalled on the pit lane enterance on lap seven. He ended up finishing 20th.
IndyCar will be back in action next week when it travels to Birmingham for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.