INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Iceman became the Ironman of IndyCar on Saturday. Capped it off with a win, too.
Scott Dixon overcame a first-lap spin and then held off hard-charging Graham Rahal over the final 10 laps to win Saturday’s Indianapolis Grand Prix by 0.4779 seconds.
Dixon extended his record to 19 consecutive seasons with a win. The victory on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the first of the season for Dixon, who passed Tony Kanaan when he started the race for most consecutive starts. His 319 consecutive races streak began in 2004 and have all been done with team owner Chip Ganassi.
It was a nice day, but definitely not picture perfect.
“I will say I thought I had a fantastic start, then got T-boned there in (turn) seven,” he said before being asked whether he thought the winning streak might end this season. “You always have doubts, that’s part of the biz. It’s just amazing.”
Rahal controlled most of the race after winning his first pole in six years Friday, but Dixon inherited the lead when Rahal pitted with 23 laps to go. The Ohioan spent the rest of the race steadily chasing down the six-time series champ.
With 10 laps to go, Rahal had pulled within 2.9084 seconds of Dixon. With two laps remaining, the difference was just 0.2689 seconds. Then Rahal ran into trouble.
“On the second to last lap, I wasn’t gaining ground, I was just pulling dead even, and I couldn’t make the lunge,” he said.
That was all Dixon needed to reach victory lane.
“We’re going against the best ever, right? I mean it’s what 20 straight seasons or 19?” Rahal said. “It’s ridiculous, it’s absolutely insane.”
Pato O’Ward, Christian Lundgaard — Rahal’s teammate — and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five.
The IndyCar Series takes next week off before finishing the season with three consecutive weeks of racing. The final stretch begins Aug. 27 at World Wide Technology Raceway outside St. Louis.
AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing
Michael Marot, The Associated Press