IndyCar Detroit: Dixon beats Andretti cars for first win of 2018

Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon claimed his first win of the 2018 IndyCar season, holding off Ryan Hunter-Reay in the first of this weekend's races in Detroit

IndyCar Detroit: Dixon beats Andretti cars for first win of 2018

In a race that featured a mixture of strategies, Dixon utilised a two-stop approach while Hunter-Reay elevated himself from fifth place into race-winning contention by taking advantage of clean air after an early pitstop on a three-stop plan.

Dixon led the race entering the closing stages but had his advantage eradicated when Graham Rahal crashed at the high-speed Turn 14 right-hander on lap 47 of 70.

Both Dixon and Hunter-Reay had pitted in the two laps before that caution was called.

The Ganassi driver had the advantage of twice the level of push-to-pass compared Hunter-Reay in the closing stages but, when Carlin's Charlie Kimball pitched IndyCar rookie Santino Ferrucci into the barriers at Turn 7, Dixon was forced to survive another race restart with 10 laps remaining.

Successfully holding off Hunter-Reay, Dixon sealed victory by 1.8249 seconds with Alexander Rossi completing the podium in third.

Rossi battled for the final spot on the podium during the final race restart, passing Andretti team-mate and polesitter Marco Andretti around the outside of Turn 3. Andretti, who took his first pole since 2013 by nearly half a second, finished fourth.

He had led the race in the opening laps, but dropped to a de facto third after being jumped by Dixon and Rahal during the first pitstop phase.

Hunter-Reay made his way into second at his second stop, emerging narrowly ahead of the Andretti and Rossi battle with all three drivers requiring one more stop at that stage.

Andretti's pace deteriorated after he was passed by Rossi. He finished just three tenths ahead of fifth-placed Takuma Sato.

RLLR driver Sato was aggressive on the restart following Rahal's crash, passing Ed Jones. Although the two swapped places again later in the lap, Sato eventually cemented fifth place by pulling away from Jones after the final restart.

By crossing the line in sixth, Ganassi's Jones rounded out a top-six lock-out for Honda-powered cars, with Indianapoli 500 winner Will Power the first Chevrolet-powered driver in seventh.

His Penske team-mate and reigning champion Josef Newgarden lost eighth place in the closing stages to a charging Robert Wickens, who elevated his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-prepared machine from 10th to eighth after the final pitstops.

Wickens, who started the race from third, lost ground in the opening stint after struggling on the red-walled option tyre.

Spencer Pigot rounded out the top 10.

James Hinchcliffe finished 11th, after a picking up a drivethrough penalty at his first pitstop for crossing the pit exit line that dropped him to 20th.

Result - 70 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 1h39m24.6189s
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 1.8249s
3 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 4.1771s
4 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 11.5191s
5 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda 11.8757s
6 Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda 13.7649s
7 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 15.0733s
8 Robert Wickens Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 21.4715s
9 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 21.5622s
10 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 21.9523s
11 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 22.3158s
12 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 23.0621s
13 Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 23.3441s
14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 26.1877s
15 Matheus Leist AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Chevrolet 26.5471s
16 Jordan King Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 27.0156s
17 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 29.8038s
18 Gabby Chaves Harding Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 33.7246s
19 Charlie Kimball Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 34.0911s
20 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara/Chevrolet 34.8584s
21 Rene Binder Juncos Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 3 Laps
22 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda Contact
23 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda Contact

Leading drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Alexander Rossi 276
2 Scott Dixon 272
3 Will Power 269
4 Josef Newgarden 255
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 227
6 Robert Wickens 202
7 Graham Rahal 191
8 Sebastien Bourdais 185
9 Marco Andretti 175
10 Simon Pagenaud 168

shares
comments
IndyCar Detroit: Andretti flies to first pole since 2013
Previous article

IndyCar Detroit: Andretti flies to first pole since 2013

Next article

IndyCar Detroit: Points leader Rossi dominates wet qualifying

IndyCar Detroit: Points leader Rossi dominates wet qualifying
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021