Richmond: Dixon wins again

Scott Dixon led from start to rain-shortened finish to win Saturday night's IRL IndyCar Series race at Richmond, his second consecutive win in a race that finished under caution

Richmond: Dixon wins again

This time, rain and lightning were to blame for cutting the race short. The Ganassi Racing driver had a 3.6s lead over Helio Castroneves when rain began to fall on the 199th lap of the 250-lap race. It was stopped seven laps later, handing Dixon his third win of the season - all of which have come on tracks that he'd never seen before he joined the IRL series for the 2003 season.

"I generally think that's where my strong point is - adapting to circuits fast," Dixon said. "The big thing is the team has supplied great cars. That's what made my job easier everywhere we've gone."

Castroneves finished second ahead of Team Penske team-mate Gil de Ferran. Sam Hornish charged from ninth to fourth in the final 64 laps to claim another strong result for Chevrolet. Points leader Tony Kanaan finished fifth, while Felipe Giaffone, Kenny Brack, Briton Dan Wheldon, Buddy Rice and Al Unser Jr rounded out the top 10.

Dixon, though, dominated a track he once jokingly dismissed as a "go-kart track." He was fastest at RIR during an open test on May 22-23, fastest in all three practice sessions Friday, fastest in qualifying and fastest when rain began to fall.

"We knew going into the race that there was a chance of rain," Dixon said. "What we wanted to do was make sure we were leading somewhere around the halfway mark."

The Penske cars tried to hang with Dixon during a lengthy green-flag stretch, but Dixon diced through traffic and seemingly toyed with the lead. On the few occasions the competition closed in, Dixon confounded them with moves uncommon in 22-year-old racers.

"He was very clever," Castroneves said. "He was able to brake early or slow down very early to keep me from getting a good run. He was able to manage the lead well. When he made a pass, he was able to keep going, and I was stuck in traffic."

At one point, as Dixon extended his lead early in the race, he remained behind the lapped car of A.J. Foyt IV for several laps. Instead of fighting to get around him, Dixon chose to remain with Foyt, using him to save fuel and tires.

"We didn't have a lot of pressure from behind, so I leaned back the fuel and saved the tires," Dixon said. "He was actually quite fast and passed a few cars. It didn't bother us too much."

Dixon also gained ground on Kanaan in the standings, moving within 27 points. As the series moves to Kansas Speedway next weekend, the New Zealand road racer has a bigger prize in sight.

"It's nice that we've gotten a couple in a row," Dixon said. "I think (Kanaan's Andretti Green Racing team) knew we definitely had the speed and could win a lot of races."

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