Scott Dixon vaulted into the lead following the final round of pit stops in today's opening round in the doubleheader Bommarito Auto Group 500 race weekend, then held off a charging Takuma Sato to score Honda's sixth NTT INDYCAR SERIES race victory of the season.
The win is Dixon's fourth in eight races this season, and the 50th of his career, leading all active drivers. Honda, with six wins in 2020, now leads the INDYCAR Manufacturers' Championship by 101 points over rival Chevrolet (688-579); while Dixon opens up a 117-point lead in the Drivers' Championship, with 386 points to 269 for the second-ranked Josef Newgarden.
Today's 200-lap contest started on a rough note, with three Honda drivers – Alexander Rossi, Zach Veach and Marco Andretti – among those eliminated in a multi-car crash just moments after race start.
After starting third, Dixon kept the leaders in sight throughout the first two-thirds of the race on the 1.25-mile oval. Sato meanwhile, fell back to midfield in the early stages, but made improvements to the handling of his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda during each pit stop, and returned to contention for the win in the closing stages.
During the final round of pit stops on Lap 177, Dixon's Chip Ganassi Racing team enabled him to leapfrog O'Ward for the lead, with Sato emerging in third. Sato then executed a thrilling outside pass of O'Ward for second on Lap 179 and began his chase of Dixon for the victory. At the checkers, Dixon held on for the win by the narrow margin of just 14 hundredths of a second.
Behind the lead trio at the finish, Colton Herta continued his run of consistent results this year, ending the day fourth, with Markus Ericsson making it four Honda drivers in the top five at the checkers.
Today's race was the opening round of a doubleheader NTT INDYCAR SERIES weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Tomorrow's 200-lap finale starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
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NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 1
Circuit: World Wide Technology Raceway (1.25-mile oval) Madison, Illinois 2019 Winner: Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) 136.874 mph average Weather: Overcast, humid, windy, 82 degrees F
|1||Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|2||Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|3||Pato O'Ward (Arrow McLaren SP)|
|4||Colton Herta (Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport)|
|5||Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|6||Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing)|
|7||Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)|
|8||Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|9||Tony Kanaan (A.J. Foyt Enterprises)|
|10||Conor Daly (Carlin)|
|11||Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing)|
|15||Alex Palou (Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh)|
|16||Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan)|
|18||Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|21||Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport)|
|22||Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport)|
|23||Marco Andretti (Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Andretti & Curb-Agajanian)|