Dixon wins IndyCar at Texas forward of McLaughlin

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Scott Dixon completed first in a race of two New Zealanders, the veteran six-time IndyCar champion forward of the collection rookie racing in his debut on an oval monitor.

“Positively essentially the most completely happy I’ve ever been ending second,” Scott McLaughlin stated.

It was one other dominating victory for Dixon at Texas Motor Speedway, profitable Saturday evening within the first of two races on consecutive days on the collection’ first oval this season. He handed Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and polesitter Alex Palou at the beginning of the third lap and went on to steer 206 of 212 laps for his 51st profession victory, the fifth on the high-banked, 1 1/2-mile monitor within the Lone Star State.

The 40-year-old Dixon completed .2646 seconds forward of McLaughlin, the 27-year-old Staff Penske driver and three-time defending Australian V8 Supercars champion.

“That man in entrance of me, Scott Dixon, is a legend on this sport. … It was very particular for me and for New Zealand,” McLaughlin stated.

“Enormous outcome for a race for a few Kiwis, which is nice to see,” Dixon stated. “He’ll have lots of victories. I’ve received to attempt to maintain him off whereas I can.”

McLaughlin will race in his first Indianapolis 500 later this month within the No. 3 famed “yellow submarine” pushed by previous winners Johnny Rutherford, Rick Mears and Helio Castroneves.

Dixon moved inside one in every of matching Mario Andretti’s 52 victories for the second-most on the profession listing that A.J. Foyt tops with 67. Dixon has now received a race in 19 completely different seasons, breaking a tie with Foyt for essentially the most. Dixon final yr received his sixth season title, one wanting Foyt’s report seven.

“I by no means dreamed of that. I really feel so fortunate and so privileged to do what I get to do,” Dixon stated.

Pato O’Ward completed third, with Palou fourth forward of Graham Rahal and Josef Newgarden. There have been three completely different winners within the three IndyCar races this season.

Dixon is the primary driver to win consecutive IndyCar races at Texas, which has now hosted 33 races — the thirty fourth comes Sunday — within the monitor’s 25 seasons. He received final June in what was the opener within the pandemic-altered 2020 season.

“Positively disturbing on the finish there. Nevertheless it was it was positively sort of enjoyable once I appeared on the steering wheel to see it was the three automotive,” Dixon stated. “We simply had a type of races the place, , the whole lot sort of tipped over in our favor.”

IndyCar moved up the beginning of the race 35 minutes due to the rising risk of rain deeper into the night, although it was nonetheless dry lengthy after the checkered flag. Qualifying was canceled earlier within the day due to in a single day rain and morning mist that created a moist monitor that took a very long time to dry earlier than a single follow.

The collection opened Could by racing for the third consecutive weekend, with a deliberate 690 miles in Texas in two races on consecutive days. The race scheduled late Sunday afternoon is ready for 248 laps (372 miles), when there needs to be no climate points.

The final time an IndyCar race had been run exterior of Indianapolis in Could was at Sao Paulo in Brazil in 2013. The one different occasions had been 2010 at Kansas and 2012 in Brazil.

BOURDAIS BUMPED OUT

Sebastien Bourdais was performed on lap 56 when the No. 14 Chevrolet for A.J. Foyt checked up for a slowing Colton Herta in entrance of him popping out of Flip 2 and was hit from behind by Newgarden.

“Very unusual, like his automotive simply fell off the cliff,” Bourdais stated of Herta in entrance of him. “That arrange a series response that we received the brief finish of.”

Bourdais, who was operating sixth on the time, spun and the automotive backed laborious into the surface wall. He completed final within the 24-car area.

Newgarden was penalized for unavoidable contact and despatched to the again of the sector on the restart, although did recuperate to complete sixth.

HINCH’S HARD CONTACT

James Hinchcliffe received free and crashed laborious into the wall on lap 159, ending the evening for No. 29 Honda for Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport with sponsor Genesys, the race’s title sponsor.

Hinchliffe stated he had been combating a vibration and was attempting to remain on the lead when the air received taken off his automotive when Felix Rosenqvist got here down on a go.

AFTER/BEFORE THE 500

Texas was the primary race after the Indianapolis 500 from its preliminary occasion in 1997 by 2005, and was after Indy each time till final yr.

Till this weekend, each TMS race was run in June, although the 2016 race received began in June earlier than getting red-flagged due to rain and never being accomplished till late August.

In the course of the pandemic final yr, Texas was the season opener when run in its regular June slot. That was 2 1/2 months earlier than the Indianapolis 500, which is again in its conventional Memorial Day weekend slot this yr.