TORONTO — Scott Dixon dominated the second half of IndyCar’s first race abroad in three years, leading 40 laps en route to a win at the Honda Indy Toronto.
Dixon’s win is his 52nd in his career and ties him with Mario Andretti for the second most win in IndyCar history. Only AJ Foyt has won more with 67 wins.
“It’s amazing. To be close to Mario, I’m just so thankful. It’s huge,” an elated Dixon said. “I feel so lucky to be a part of this group, to even be mentioned in there with Mario, it means so much.”
Dixon started second on the front row next to pole sitter Colton Herta.
Coming off a week in which Herta tested a McLaren F1 car, Herta had a good feeling heading into the IndyCar season’s next race in Toronto, becoming the first driver to score more than one pole this season position.
Herta led the race’s first 18 laps, despite a wreck by Takuma Sato on the first lap to bring out a caution, but surrendered the lead after Dixon had a faster stop which cycled him out in front of Herta.
Dixon and Herta were attached at the hip back in the field as other cars tried alternate strategies to 7get an advantage. One of those was Graham Rahal who led a handful of laps going long on the primary black tires during the first stint. He would eventually finish a season-high fourth on the day,
Once everyone pitted and cycled Dixon back to the lead, he and Herta were able to open up a huge lead over Josef Newgarden.
The next caution on Lap 46 saw a charging Alexander Rossi get collected in a battle with Felix Rosenqvist, the eventually third-place finisher, pushing Rossi into the wall and out of the race.
The caution was a breath of fresh air for Nerwgarden who was able to close the gap because of the caution, but on subsequent pit stops, Newgarden’s terrible pit stop lost him ten spots. He would restart 13th.
Rinus Veekay and Conor Daly tried an alternate strategy working the red tires for long stints on the restart. However, neither could make it on fuel and would stop once again on subsequent cautions involving track surface debris on Lap 56, as well as a wreck between Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Kirkwood on Lap 63.
When all was said and done, Dixon and Herta were back up front after a final round of pit stops. Dixon would hold on to the end picking up his 4th career win at Toronto and moving up in the points to fourth.
“We struggled a little bit on reds,” Dixon said. “We made some adjustments, but it was a tough drive,” Ended a streak here! So happy for the team. It just feels so good. I’m hoping this is the start of a role, hoping this is the start of a good run for the championship.”
On that note, Marcus Ericsson’s fifth-place finish, after a hard battle with embattled driver Alex Palou, extended his lead in the overall championship standings over Will Power.
Palou, who is in the middle of a contract dispute with both Arrow McLaren SP and Chip Ganassi Racing, finished 6th. Palou is also 3rd in the points.
IndyCar returned to oval racing next weekend for a doubleheader at Iowa Speedway.
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