Gateway IndyCar: Will Power wins, Alexander Rossi beats Scott Dixon

Penske's Will Power kept his slim 2018 IndyCar title hopes alive by winning as championship favourites Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon duelled in a late strategic battle at Gateway

Power took the decisive lead on the 150th tour of the 243-lap race, swooping past Dixon.

But throughout the race, the field was caught in the dilemma of whether a three or four-stop race was quickest before a caution caused by Ryan Hunter-Reay on lap 172 forced teams into a fuel gamble.

Most drivers committed to a three-stop strategy were forced to abandon it as Hunter-Reay's incident came just too soon for a stop under the resultant yellow to be their last of the race.

Power made his final splash-and-dash stop inside the final 20 laps and cruised to a comfortable victory.

But the real battle for the title took place directly behind him as Dixon and Rossi diverged after the final caution.

Dixon followed Power in a flat-out approach, knowing a quick fuel stop late on would be needed.

Rossi opted to conserve fuel, dramatically curbing his speed and managing his fuel to the end.

Initially dropping from the podium places to seventh, Rossi managed to narrowly stay ahead of Dixon after the Chip Ganassi Racing driver stopped with 10 laps to go for a 2.8 second fuel top-up.

As those ahead stopped to take on fuel, Rossi cycled back to second ahead of Dixon.

The Andretti driver made up three points on Dixon's title lead, with the gap now 26 points with just Portland and the double-points finale at Sonoma to go.

Penske's Simon Pagenaud finished fourth ahead of Zach Veach, who climbed from 16th on the grid to fifth after his Andretti team-mates described him as the quickest driver in the outfit over the weekend.

Spencer Pigot finished sixth, followed by a frustrated Josef Newgarden.

The reigning IndyCar champion made a superb start to jump Rossi and run inside the top three, but was gradually shuffled back due to handling problems in the first stint.

Newgarden was first bumped back by Rossi in a fashion similar to his own controversial pass on Pagenaud last year, and then fell out of contention after he and Penske failed to make the fuel mileage work in the last stint.

He finished ahead of Ganassi's Ed Jones, who fought a thrilling battle with Veach inside the top five places before a late stop for fuel.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato ran off-strategy for most of the race, running later than anyone through the opening stints.

The pair finished ninth and 10th respectively after the Hunter-Reay-induced caution forced them back onto the conventional strategy.

Sebastien Bourdais was the only other driver to a cause a caution, getting loose on the opening lap and clouting the outside wall.

James Hinchcliffe was 15th in Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' only car, with team-mate Robert Wickens's #6 machine displayed in the paddock as the field paid tribute to the seriously injured rookie throughout the weekend.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 248 1h59m30.1972s
2 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 248 1.3117s
3 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 248 2.8092s
4 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 248 3.1336s
5 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 248 7.2693s
6 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 248 10.5509s
7 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 248 10.6003s
8 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 248 22.1362s
9 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda 247 1 Lap
10 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda 247 1 Lap
11 Pietro Fittipaldi Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 247 1 Lap
12 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 247 1 Lap
13 Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 246 2 Laps
14 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Dallara/Honda 246 2 Laps
15 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 246 2 Laps
16 Matheus Leist A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 246 2 Laps
17 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 244 4 Laps
18 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 242 6 Laps
19 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 235 13 Laps
20 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 172 Mechanical
21 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Dallara/Honda 0 Contact

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Scott Dixon 568
2 Alexander Rossi 542
3 Will Power 500
4 Josef Newgarden 490
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 421
6 Simon Pagenaud 400
7 Robert Wickens 391
8 Graham Rahal 371
9 James Hinchcliffe 353
10 Sebastien Bourdais 334
11 Marco Andretti 327
12 Ed Jones 297
13 Takuma Sato 290
14 Spencer Pigot 281
15 Zach Veach 270
16 Tony Kanaan 257
17 Charlie Kimball 245
18 Matheus Leist 215
19 Max Chilton 192
20 Ed Carpenter 187
21 Gabby Chaves 170
22 Jordan King 126
23 Zachary Claman 122
24 Jack Harvey 63
25 Rene Binder 61
26 Conor Daly 58
27 Carlos Munoz 53
28 Kyle Kaiser 45
29 Pietro Fittipaldi 41
30 Helio Castroneves 40
31 J.R. Hildebrand 38
32 Stefan Wilson 31
33 Oriol Servia 27
34 Santino Ferrucci 18
35 Danica Patrick 13
36 Jay Howard 12
37 Alfonso Celis 10
37 Sage Karam 10
37 James Davison 10

Previous article Gateway IndyCar: Scott Dixon handed pole as qualifying cancelled
Next article Power convinced he's still in IndyCar title race after third 2018 win