Dixon, Honda Dominate in Texas
— Scott Dixon wins at Texas Motor Speedway for second victory in last two weeks
— Alexander Rossi runs third to continue championship challenge
— Honda drivers claim eight of top nine finishing positions
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 10, 2018 /Prexly/ For the second time in two weeks, Scott Dixon dominated a Verizon IndyCar Series race, leading a race-high 119 laps to claim victory tonight in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway. The victory at the demanding, high-speed Texas oval follows Dixon’s win last Saturday in the opening race of the doubleheader Detroit Grand Prix weekend, and vaults Dixon into the Drivers’ Championship points lead after nine of 17 races.
Starting seventh, Dixon took his Honda into the lead on Lap 130. He never relinquished his advantage which, at one time, grew to more than 12 seconds over his nearest pursuer. His second victory of 2018 is also the 43rd Indy car triumph of his career, moving him into sole position of third place on the all-time victory list, behind only A.J. Foyt (67 wins) and Mario Andretti (52).
Honda drivers claimed five of Saturday’s top six finishing positions on the high banked, 1.5-mile oval, with Alexander Rossi finishing third after a thrilling late-race battle with runner-up Simon Pagenaud. Following a late-race restart on Lap 214, the pair battled throughout the final 30 laps, with James Hinchcliffe never far behind, in fourth.
Ryan Hunter-Reay followed up his win on Sunday in Detroit with a fifth-place result tonight; while Graham Rahal once again completed an impressive charge after starting deep in the field. Rahal gained a total of 14 positions throughout the 248-lap race to finish sixth. His Rahal Letterman Lanigan teammate, Takuma Sato, finished seventh, followed by Sebastien Bourdais in eighth. Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Ed Jones, finished ninth as Honda drivers also claimed eight of the top nine finishing positions.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series racing activities in Texas are available on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
After a run of five consecutive May-June event weekends, the Verizon IndyCar Series now takes a week off, then resumes June 24 at the scenic Road America circuit in Wisconsin for the Kohler Grand Prix.
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started seventh, finished first, second victory of 2018, 43rd career Indy car win, now third on the all-time winners list behind Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt:
“I think we kind of played it fairly cool to start with. The car felt really good out of the box. We actually ran on some pretty heavily scuffed tires. I think we had eight or 10 laps on our start just to make sure we weren’t going to have an issue. We went all the way to the [end of the] pit window, until we were out of fuel, which I didn’t think was going to be a possibility tonight. We didn’t really have any tire issues. I think Firestone did a very good job. [On moving into sole possession of third on the all-time Indy car winner’s list] “It’s really cool. Obviously, I have massive respect for a lot of these drivers. But when you look at those names, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, the Unsers, to me it still seems very strange that ‘Dixon’ is on that list, too. I feel very privileged and lucky to do what I get to do. I love racing. I love the Verizon IndyCar Series. I think it’s the best racing on the planet, one of the most difficult with all the disciplines. For me, man, I just hope it continues. I hope we can keep a winning style, pick up wins. It’s so difficult right now, [because] it’s so competitive.”
Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started eighth, finished third: “Simon [Pagenaud] did a good job defending. We tried to go up high [to pass], and I would have taken it if it was an easy one, but I couldn’t force the issue. We came home third. The NAPA car was awesome from the get-go. We were able to pass some cars and go long on fuel. The tire life was great, so all-in-all, a great effort from the [car number] 27 team.”
Marc Sours (Senior Manager and Chief Engineer, Honda Performance Development) on tonight’s race at Texas Motor Speedway: “The hard work that the group at HPD put in during the off-season has begun to pay dividends during the past couple of weeks. We are very, very pleased to be working with such high-quality teams and drivers, as is evidenced by the fact that each of our five teams was represented among the top eight finishers in Texas tonight. Congratulations, in particular to Scott Dixon, who moved into third on the all-time Indy car wins list with his victory tonight, and continues to secure his legacy as one of the all-time greats of our sport. This race marks the halfway point of the season, and there is a great deal of competitive racing ahead. We’ll be working hard to bring a strong close to the season.”
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SOURCE Honda Racing