Pocono IndyCar: Scott Dixon leads Ganassi's first ever podium sweep
|By Mark Glendenning||Sunday, July 7th 2013, 18:45 GMT|
Scott Dixon spearheaded the Ganassi team's first-ever 1-2-3 finish in an eventful IndyCar race at Pocono.
Dixon crossed the line ahead of Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti to secure the win on an afternoon where pre-race favourite Andretti Autosport crumbled.
All three Ganassi cars had started at the rear of the pack, but the trio picked their way through the field and capitalised on their ability to extend a tank of fuel further than their Chevrolet-powered counterparts to take control of the race during the final stint.
It could have been a 1-2-3-4 finish for Honda, but Chevy-powered Penske man Will Power passed Simon Pagenaud late in the race to secure fourth.
Pagenaud lost an additional position to Josef Newgarden just before the end.
The early part of the weekend had been dominated by Andretti, but all four cars encountered problems.
Polesitter Marco Andretti led the most laps, but began to struggle with fuel mileage over his final stint and drifted back to 10th.
His was the only one of the team's cars still running on the lead lap at the end: James Hinchcliffe's race ended at the first corner when he looped up into the wall, while EJ Viso struggled at the back before retiring with a mechanical hiccup.
The most bizarre problem was reserved for reigning champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had just entered the pitlane when Takuma Sato, who was running among the leaders, badly misjudged his own entry to the pits, came in way too fast, and punted Hunter-Reay into the wall.
Sato, who later took responsibility for the accident, retired on the spot, while Andretti managed to get Hunter-Reay back out for a while to salvage a few extra points, albeit running 20 laps down.
Results - 160 laps: Pos Driver Team/Engine Time/Gap 1. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Honda 2h04m26.4178s 2. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Honda +0.4572s 3. Dario Franchitti Ganassi/Honda +1.1989s 4. Will Power Penske/Chevy +5.6320s 5. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda +7.1949s 6. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda +9.4074s 7. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda +13.3012s 8. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy +13.9376s 9. Ed Carpenter Carpenter/Chevy +15.5500s 10. Marco Andretti Andretti/Chevy +18.4584s 11. Simona de Silvestro KV/Chevy +32.0478s 12. James Jakes Rahal/Honda +36.2536s 13. Tony Kanaan KV/Chevy +41.5507s 14. Ryan Briscoe Panther/Chevy +1 lap 15. Pippa Mann Coyne/Honda +1 lap 16. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon/Chevy +1 lap 17. Alex Tagliani Herta/Honda +2 laps 18. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda +2 laps 19. Tristan Vautier Schmidt/Honda +2 laps Retirements: Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Chevy 121 laps EJ Viso Andretti/Chevy 104 laps Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda 61 laps Sebastian Saavedra Dragon/Chevy 2 laps James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Chevy 0 laps