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Watkins Glen IndyCar: Dixon wins, Power crash helps Pagenaud

Scott Dixon won IndyCar's first Watkins Glen race since 2010, as a crash for Will Power that swung the championship momentum back in favour of Simon Pagenaud

Having topped all three practice sessions and qualified on pole, Chip Ganassi Racing's current champion Dixon stormed away to a seemingly untroubled win.

He had managed each of the first two pit phases well, before a crash between Power and Charlie Kimball on lap 39 of 60 prompted the final flurry of stops under yellow flags.

Carlos Munoz, Takuma Sato and Marco Andretti opted to stay out, but Dixon was able to ease his Dallara-Chevrolet past all three within a lap and a half of the restart, having also caught Helio Castroneves - who had jumped Dixon in the pits - napping at the green.

Castroneves had been holding his own and running in the podium positions for the final stint. Fuel was tight though, and he was forced to pit two laps from home, but James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly ahead running low on fuel meant he ultimately finished third behind Josef Newgarden.

Daly still made it home fourth ahead of Sebastien Bourdais.

It was Power's crash that stole the headlines, and helped Pagenaud put one hand on the title heading into the double-points Sonoma finale.

Power had been running in second ahead of Pagenaud in the first phase, but both were caught out when the race's first caution for Mikhail Aleshin's tyre blowout put Power in 14th and Pagenaud in 13th, as they had not already stopped before the yellow.

From there, Power went aggressive on strategy to go on the unfavoured red tyres for the second stop but couldn't get past traffic.

Pagenaud meanwhile stayed out five additional laps and went on blacks, handing him fifth after the second pit phase.

Then with 21 laps to go, an ambitious move from Kimball on Power meant the pair touched and Power spun out of the race.

Pagenaud could only manage seventh, but crucially scored plenty of points and is now 44 clear.

Graham Rahal had a big hit a third of the way in while dicing with Kimball, a brief touch being the catalyst for plunging the Texas race winner into the tyres out of Turn 1. Kimball escaped the incidents and finished sixth.

RESULTS - 60 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1h41m39.8592s
2 Josef Newgarden Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 16.5308s
3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 21.4417s
4 Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 24.3349s
5 Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 25.3815s
6 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 29.4268s
7 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 31.1118s
8 Alexander Rossi Andretti Herta Dallara/Honda 32.0710s
9 R.C. Enerson Dale Coyne Racing Dallara/Honda 32.3965s
10 Max Chilton Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 32.9478s
11 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 34.7869s
12 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 35.3813s
13 Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet 37.7024s
14 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda 42.4644s
15 Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 45.3829s
16 Jack Hawksworth AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 45.7584s
17 Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara/Honda 1m07.4937s
18 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda 1 Lap
19 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Chevrolet 1 Lap
20 Will Power Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet Contact
21 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara/Honda Contact
22 Mikhail Aleshin Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara/Honda Contact

LEADING CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Simon Pagenaud 555
2 Will Power 512
3 Scott Dixon 451
4 Helio Castroneves 451
5 Josef Newgarden 446
6 Tony Kanaan 427
7 Graham Rahal 403
8 Carlos Munoz 402
9 Charlie Kimball 389
10 James Hinchcliffe 380
11 Alexander Rossi 370
12 Sebastien Bourdais 364
13 Ryan Hunter-Reay 364
14 Juan Pablo Montoya 363
15 Mikhail Aleshin 309
16 Conor Daly 295
17 Marco Andretti 291
18 Takuma Sato 288
19 Max Chilton 239
20 Jack Hawksworth 205

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