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Race report
IndyCar Detroit

IndyCar Detroit: Dixon takes championship lead with win from charging Ericsson

Scott Dixon used a fuel-saving strategy to keep clear of a charging Marcus Ericsson to win a chaotic IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix and take the championship points lead.

The six-time IndyCar champion started fifth, pushed through the murky pitstop cycles and fended off late challenges while saving fuel to claim victory by 0.8567s – the 58th win of his IndyCar career.

“At about lap 50, I said, ‘I think we can make it on no more stops from this point if we do one now,’” Dixon said. “We didn't go that risky, but the team called it perfectly. We were on the right strategy.”

Ericsson made a late charge from fourth but was unable to put together a sustained attack on Dixon so had to settle for second, which still marked his best result for Andretti Global to date.

Marcus Armstrong, last year’s IndyCar rookie of the year, established his best performance in the series to collect his first podium, ahead of Andretti Global’s Kyle Kirkwood who finished fourth and Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi in fifth.

Despite a horrendous day with multiple collisions and penalties, Team Penske’s Will Power rebounded for sixth, ahead of Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward in seventh.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who made a race-high 26 passes, overcame his 22nd-place starting spot to finish eighth. AJ Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci was ninth, with Arrow McLaren rookie Theo Pourchaire taking his best result in the series in 10th.

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

In a chaotic race, which featured nine cautions for 47 laps of the 100-lap race, a brief rain shower shook up the field after 35 laps, as the majority of the runners swapped to wet weather tyres.

That appeared to favour Christian Lundgaard and Kirkwood, who were among those that opted to remain on their respective used primary slicks tyres as the track dried out, with Kirkwood taking the lead through a series of caution periods.

But after a restart on lap 60 provided some green flag running another yellow flag came on lap 64, to provide the last pitstop for Kirkwood and others, which put Dixon - who pitted under the previous caution with 44 laps to go - in the lead.

The caution occurred after Newgarden, who served a drive through penalty after running over an airhose and nearly hitting pitcrew members during an earlier pitstop, lost the rear of his car entering Turn 3 which blocked Alex Palou, but both were able to continue on.

Then, mercifully, some green flag running allowed Dixon to lead the field, as Kirkwood made quick work of passing Tristan Vautier to move into third.

Fuel conservation was fresh on Dixon’s mind as he feathered the throttle in corners while holding a 3.3s lead over his team-mate with 20 laps to go.

Despite showing flashes of strong pace whenever there were green flag laps, Kirkwood began to lose ground to Armstrong in second, and his struggles began to show even more when team-mate Ericsson passed him at Turn 3 with 11 laps left.

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

Dixon’s conservation mode allowed Colton Herta to unlap himself and he remained in front of the six-time IndyCar Series champion. The gap between the top two tightened to 1.1s with seven laps to go, with Dixon then calling over the radio for Herta to move aside as they were both Honda drivers.

Dixon lunged by Herta entering Turn 3, before he dived into the pits to not impede the other frontrunners. That enabled the New Zealander to widen the gap to 2.5s with two laps to go, as Ericsson made an inside pass on Armstrong to move into second.

The Chip Ganassi driver held a 1.8s lead at the start of the final lap, with Ericsson charging hard, but the Swedish driver was not able to muster a proper challenge before the chequered flag.

IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix - Race results

   
1
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4
   
   
1
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2
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph Pits Points Retirement
1 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 100

2:06'07.9684

  92.177 2    
2 Sweden M. Ericsson Andretti Global 28 100

+0.8567

2:06'08.8251

0.8567 93.569 2    
3 New Zealand M. Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 100

+4.9129

2:06'12.8813

4.0562 89.220 4    
4 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Global 27 100

+6.1249

2:06'14.0933

1.2120 91.894 2    
5 United States A. Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 100

+8.9532

2:06'16.9216

2.8283 91.540 4    
6 Australia W. Power Team Penske 12 100

+10.1045

2:06'18.0729

1.1513 90.616 7    
7 Mexico P. O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 100

+11.4821

2:06'19.4505

1.3776 91.821 4    
8 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 100

+15.4998

2:06'23.4682

4.0177 91.571 5    
9 United States S. Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 100

+18.2882

2:06'26.2566

2.7884 92.324 6    
10 France T. Pourchaire Arrow McLaren 6 100

+18.8912

2:06'26.8596

0.6030 93.183 4    
11 Denmark C. Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 100

+23.3158

2:06'31.2842

4.4246 77.720 5    
12 Argentina A. Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 100

+27.3674

2:06'35.3358

4.0516 91.476 4    
13 Brazil P. Fittipaldi Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 100

+28.3686

2:06'36.3370

1.0012 91.313 4    
14 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 100

+29.4122

2:06'37.3806

1.0436 90.893 4    
15 United States G. Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 100

+30.1565

2:06'38.1249

0.7443 90.389 4    
16 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 100

+39.0438

2:06'47.0122

8.8873 90.520 5    
17 United Kingdom J. Harvey Dale Coyne Racing 18 100

+46.3377

2:06'54.3061

7.2939 91.836 5    
18 France T. Vautier Dale Coyne Racing 51 99

+1 Lap

2:06'20.3437

1 Lap 92.777 5    
19 United States C. Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian 26 99

+1 Lap

2:06'33.2229

12.8792 91.147 5    
20 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 99

+1 Lap

2:06'40.7466

7.5237 90.213 5    
21
R. Robb A.J. Foyt Enterprises
41 99

+1 Lap

2:06'54.9977

14.2511 91.591 4    
22 Sweden L. Lundqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 8 99

+1 Lap

2:06'55.2725

0.2748 91.771 6    
23 France R. Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 97

+3 Laps

2:06'39.1904

2 Laps 91.037 4    
24 United States K. Simpson Chip Ganassi Racing 4 96

+4 Laps

2:06'56.8918

1 Lap 90.911 8    
25 Brazil H. Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 66 95

+5 Laps

2:07'07.6110

1 Lap 89.357 6    
26 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 94

+6 Laps

2:07'02.1853

1 Lap 93.250 8    
27
C. Rasmussen Ed Carpenter Racing
20 24

+76 Laps

1:52'14.4086

70 Laps 1.186 1   Mechanical

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