Dixon wins as multiple drivers run out of fuel at Sonoma

Scott Dixon has won for the 35th time in his IndyCar career.

Dixon wins as multiple drivers run out of fuel at Sonoma
Race winner Scott Dixon celebrates
Start: Sébastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe crash
Scott Dixon, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet takes the win
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Start: Sébastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe crash
Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsport Honda
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Tony Kanaan, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Polesitter Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

SONOMA, Calif. – Scott Dixon overtook race leader Mike Conway on Lap 83 of 85 and went on to win the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

Dixon, who started third in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, led Ryan Hunter-Reay across the finish line by 1.1359 seconds. Simon Pagenaud finished third after overtaking Conway, whose No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing car ran out of fuel with about 350 yards left.

Pagenaud, who started 15th in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car, joins Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves as drivers eligible for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

The championship battle

Power takes a 51-point lead over Castroneves and 81 points over Pagenaud to the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval for the season-closing MAVTV 500 on Aug. 30. A total of 104 points are available in the final round of the Triple Crown series.

Power, who started on the pole and led a field-high 33 laps in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, was scored 10th after rebounding from a spin on Lap 40 that cost him eight positions to 20th.

"It took me by surprise when I spun. That's just racing. I tried to save fuel towards the end, just going for points. I would have liked to have had a better finish, but the Verizon Chevy team will look to Fontana working towards the championship."

We are 51 points behind in the championship heading to the finale at Auto Club Speedway, and with the double points there anything can happen.

Helio Castroneves

Castroneves, whose No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car was involved in contact on Lap 1, never was running in the top 10 and finished 18th. He entered the race 40 points behind Power. 

"It's a pretty disappointing finish, to be honest," said Castroneves, who started sixth. "The Hitachi Chevy was really fast all weekend and to get hit so early on in the race was really tough. That certainly put us behind, fixing the damage in the front and back of the car and it was tough to recover. So now, we are 51 points behind in the championship heading to the finale at Auto Club Speedway, and with the double points there anything can happen.

"We are not giving up. We will keep on it and give everything we have next weekend to try and reach our goal. We are still in it and we know what we need to do now over the 500 miles."

It was the 35th career victory for Dixon, who tied Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time list.

The winner's comments

“This is just big for our team,” said Dixon, who is the only driver to complete every lap in the 10 Verizon IndyCar Series races at Sonoma Raceway. “It was tough because there were so many strategies going on and they were just slightly off and I didn’t know who could make it and who couldn’t. Conway I think pushed hard to start with but I think he had to save some fuel at the end.”

Twenty cars were on the lead lap, tying a season high set in the Indianapolis 500. Takuma Sato, who started 20th in the No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing car, finished a season-high fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske entry. Conway finished 14th.

“We had another unlucky morning. After the warm-up we had to change the engine,” Sato said. “The guys did a tremendous job to change it in such a short time and give me a competitive car. Unfortunately, we caught debris in the first accident and we had to change the nose and tires. We stayed on the lead lap and kept topping off fuel to make a slightly different sequence of pit stops from everyone else.

“I overtook a few cars on the track, our strategy worked and the Honda engine did a great job in the end. Everyone is very happy."

IndyCar

shares
comments
Sarah Fisher Hartman, Ed Carpenter combo signs Newgarden for 2015

Previous article

Sarah Fisher Hartman, Ed Carpenter combo signs Newgarden for 2015

Next article

Dixon claims win at Sonoma

Dixon claims win at Sonoma
Load comments
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021