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Scott Dixon takes Motegi victory on good day for Will Power

Scott Dixon edged away from Will Power to win the final Motegi IndyCar race, as Power took the points lead after title rival Dario Franchitti was involved in a collision

Ganassi driver Dixon headed Power's Penske Dallara throughout the 63 laps, pulling away a little in the closing stages after they had run a second or so apart for most of the distance.

But any frustration Power felt at being unable to get on terms with Dixon was alleviated by knowledge of Franchitti's messy day.

The reigning champion got up from his disappointing ninth place on the grid to fifth in the first stint, only to tap Penske's Ryan Briscoe into a spin on a lap 26 restart. The incident ruined the races of three of Ganassi's four cars, as satellite team duo Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball were collected by Briscoe's spinning car. Franchitti became entangled with Briscoe, sustained a damaged wing, and was put to the back of the field for the next restart as a punishment.

He eventually made it back through to ninth, helped by a restart with two laps to go after Dale Coyne Racing's Sebastien Bourdais clashed with Ryan Hunter-Reay and left the Andretti car stuck in the gravel.

Dixon handled the restart perfectly to edge away from Power again and win by 3.4 seconds. The result gives Power a 13-point championship lead with two rounds to go, and means he has won this year's road course crown.

Marco Andretti took third for Andretti Autosport, jumping ahead of Oriol Servia - who had surged forward from 16th on the grid and took particular profit from the chaos around the Franchitti restart incident - in the final stops. Servia (Newman/Haas) attacked Andretti at the late restart, but ended up being shuffled back to fifth behind Sam Schmidt driver Alex Tagliani. Like Servia, the Canadian had made up huge ground amid the early incidents.

Bourdais survived his collision with Hunter-Reay to finish sixth. Helio Castroneves went off at the first corner of the race before recovering to seventh for Penske, passing Panther's JR Hildebrand on the last lap.

Behind Franchitti, Mike Conway completed the top 10 in another Andretti car. He had been on course for the top six until a late dust-up with Bourdais and EJ Viso.

Local hero Takuma Sato had an early clash with Joao Paulo de Oliveira's Conquest car, recovered to seventh, but then collided with his KV team-mate Viso on the last restart and fell to 11th, with Viso ending up 22nd.

Their team-mate Tony Kanaan tried an unsuccessful three-stop strategy to move up from his back row starting position, and was further hampered by a pit speeding penalty, leaving him 18th.

Problematic pitstops spoiled the promising weekends of rookies James Jakes - who got as high as third - and James Hinchcliffe. The Dale Coyne and Newman/Haas drivers ended up only 14th and 16th respectively.

Results - 63 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team                    Time/Gap
 1.  Scott Dixon             Ganassi            1h56m41.0107s
 2.  Will Power              Penske                 + 3.4375s
 3.  Marco Andretti          Andretti               + 4.4782s
 4.  Alex Tagliani           Sam Schmidt            + 5.5913s
 5.  Oriol Servia            Newman/Haas            + 6.1621s
 6.  Sebastien Bourdais      Dale Coyne             + 6.6399s
 7.  Helio Castroneves       Penske                 + 7.6856s
 8.  JR Hildebrand           Panther                + 8.7436s
 9.  Dario Franchitti        Ganassi                + 9.0690s
10.  Mike Conway             Andretti               + 9.3816s
11.  Takuma Sato             KV                    + 10.1187s
12.  Danica Patrick          Andretti              + 10.6995s
13.  Graham Rahal            Ganassi               + 11.4555s
14.  James Jakes             Dale Coyne            + 11.6119s
15.  Simona de Silvestro     HVM                   + 12.0651s
16.  James Hinchcliffe       Newman/Haas           + 12.5498s
17.  Giorgio Pantano         Dreyer & Reinbold     + 14.4549s
18.  Tony Kanaan             KV                    + 15.8407s
19.  Hideki Mutoh            AFS/Sam Schmidt       + 16.3024s
20.  Ana Beatriz             Dreyer & Reinbold     + 20.5159s
21.  Ryan Briscoe            Penske                + 38.5887s
22.  EJ Viso                 KV                  + 1m39.0777s
23.  Charlie Kimball         Ganassi                  + 1 lap
24.  Ryan Hunter-Reay        Andretti                 + 1 lap

Retirements:

     Vitor Meira             Foyt                     61 laps
     Joao Paulo de Oliveira  Conquest                 19 laps

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