Sonoma IndyCar: Ganassi's Scott Dixon wins as Mike Conway runs dry

Scott Dixon emerged victorious from a bizarre Sonoma IndyCar race, while Will Power recovered from a mishap to salvage 10th and maintain the points lead into next weekend's Fontana finale

Sonoma IndyCar: Ganassi's Scott Dixon wins as Mike Conway runs dry

On an afternoon riddled with incidents and intrigue, Dixon moved into the lead for the first time just three laps from the end as Mike Conway, who was one of several drivers on alternate strategies, began to struggle on fuel mileage.

"There were so many strategies going on and they were just slightly off, and I didn't know who could make it and who couldn't," said Ganassi driver Dixon. "We've have a pretty rats year this year and I'm so happy to end on this note."

The extent of Conway's plight became apparent as he ran dry midway through the final corner and rolled across the finish line, dropping from a podium place back to 14th. He stopped just yards over the line, bringing out a local yellow that would have ramifications of its own a few moments later.

Conway's misfortune came after the Brit, making his final appearance of the year with Ed Carpenter Racing, dominated the middle phase of the race, and paved the way for Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud to complete the podium.

The real story of the afternoon was the sheer depths of catastrophe that the main title contenders at Penske managed to dig themselves into.

The day started with the team being evacuated from its hotel following the earthquake that struck the area in the middle of the night, and for Helio Castroneves, it never got better - he was involved in a multi-car incident on lap one (pictured) that dropped him to the back, and another spin in traffic later on, leaving him 18th.

For the first half of the afternoon this was playing right into the hand of team-mate and championship rival Power, who was untouchable during the opening two stints and led by as much as 11 seconds. That ended when he changed to a set of new black tyres and spun at the hairpin, dropping himself back to 20th.

After a long and unhappy stint on a ruined set of tyres he made a solid recovery in the latter stages of the race, and attempted to finish things off with a three-wide move through the hairpin on the final lap to jump from 12th to ninth.

Miraculously he made it stick (although Sebastien Bourdais, who was to the outside, ended up hitting the wall). However he also did it right by the local yellow that was being waved for Conway's stranded car, and was consequently dropped back to 10th behind Justin Wilson after the race. He goes into Fontana with a 51-point lead over Castroneves.

Also worthy of mention was Graham Rahal, who was on yet another of the myriad strategies and found himself comfortably leading in the latter stages of the race.

His fuel load demanded a yellow for him to be able to make the chequered flag though, and when it failed to materialise he was forced to pit with just a handful of laps remaining. A drive-through for pitlane speeding sealed his 20th place.

Results - 85 laps: Pos Driver Team/Engine Time/Gap 1. Scott Dixon Ganassi/Chevy 2h09m21.8064s 2. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti/Honda +1.1359s 3. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt/Honda +6.3078s 4. Takuma Sato Foyt/Honda +11.8110s 5. Juan Pablo Montoya Penske/Chevy +12.7305s 6. Josef Newgarden Fisher/Honda +13.5367s 7. Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt/Honda +15.8048s 8. Marco Andretti Andretti/Honda +20.1054s 9. Justin Wilson Coyne/Honda +21.6233s 10. Will Power Penske/Chevy +22.1936s 11. Sebastien Bourdais KV/Chevy +22.4321s 12. James Hinchcliffe Andretti/Honda +23.1572s 13. Tony Kanaan Ganassi/Chevy +23.2277s 14. Mike Conway Carpenter/Chevy +26.9930s 15. Jack Hawksworth Herta/Honda +37.0303s 16. Sebastian Saavedra KV/Chevy +37.7440s 17. Ryan Briscoe Ganassi/Chevy +37.9876s 18. Helio Castroneves Penske/Chevy +39.6511s 19. Carlos Munoz Andretti/Honda +42.4797s 20. Graham Rahal Rahal/Honda +43.5335s 21. Charlie Kimball Ganassi/Chevy -1 lap Retirements: Carlos Huertas Coyne/Honda 28 laps All drivers use Dallara chassis 
shares
comments
Josef Newgarden stays with merged CFH team for 2015 IndyCar
Previous article

Josef Newgarden stays with merged CFH team for 2015 IndyCar

Next article

IndyCar announces new testing limits for 2015

IndyCar announces new testing limits for 2015
Load comments
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
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021