Dixon's Late Move Snares Milwaukee Victory Using lapped traffic to his best advantage, defending IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon dove under race leader Ryan Briscoe with less than 20 laps remaining to snatch the victory in...
Dixon's Late Move Snares Milwaukee Victory
Using lapped traffic to his best advantage, defending IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon dove under race leader Ryan Briscoe with less than 20 laps remaining to snatch the victory in Sunday's ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 at The Milwaukee Mile.
The successful move reversed the finishing order for the pair from last year's race, when Briscoe prevailed over Dixon for his first IndyCar win. In today's race, Briscoe led more than triple the laps of his combined rivals, but was briefly boxed in as he came up to lap the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car of Tomas Scheckter.
That gave Dixon all the opportunity he needed, and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver was through in an instant, going low to pass both Briscoe and Scheckter in a single move. From there, Dixon opened up as much as a three- second lead in the final two dozen laps, before taking the checkers a comfortable 2.2 seconds ahead of Briscoe.
Coming just seven days after the Indianapolis 500, this was another successful race weekend for the Honda HI9R Indy V-8 engine. Almost the entire field used the same engine as in the "500", with only crash-damaged units replaced for this race. In Milwaukee, drivers and teams completed 6,128.57 miles without failure this weekend.
Just behind the lead pair was Dixon's teammate, Dario Franchitti, who used a quick pit stop on Lap 135 to vault past both Briscoe and Dixon to take the lead, only to be briefly balked by a slower car on Lap 154 and fall back to third, where he finished.
Taking "playing with pain" to a new level, Tony Kanaan took the lead at the start of today's 225-lap contest, despite suffering from numerous soft- tissue injuries sustained in his high-speed crash at last week's Indianapolis 500. Kanaan led a total of 25 laps and looked like a potential race winner until a fuel leak caused a brief fire aboard his Andretti Green Racing entry, ending his day on Lap 132.
Following the lead trio home, Graham Rahal challenged early in the race before fading slightly after the last round of pit stops, to finish fourth. Danica Patrick followed up her third-place finish at Indy with fifth today, moving her to a career-high fourth in the drivers' championship standings. Raphael Matos rounded out the top six and was the top rookie finisher for Luczo Dragon Racing.
The 2009 IndyCar Series continues its swing of consecutive races with its return to the fast, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway for the Bombardier Learjet 550k on Saturday night, June 6.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 4th, finished 1st, 2nd win of 2009, 18th career IndyCar victory, moves to the top of the drivers' championship standings: "This is such a tough place, it makes doing well here feel so much better. I think from the start we had the best car out there, but it's always a long, tough race with the traffic. You get caught out in the traffic sometimes, and that's how I caught Ryan [Briscoe]. But once I was out in front, our car was so strong I didn't think anyone could catch us the rest of the way. I'm just so stoked that we've won at The Milwaukee Mile."
Ryan Briscoe (#6 Team Penske Honda) Started 1st, finished 2nd: "It was a great race. Scott [Dixon] was there all day, and I think his car got quicker and quicker as each run went on. He was a little bit better than me at the end. There's always a lot of traffic at this place, and that determined how the race worked out for all of us, I think. Near the end, I got caught up in traffic and he took the opportunity to pass me when I slowed up. But that's how I had passed Dario [Franchitti] earlier. It was a great job by Scott."
Jack Spurney (General Manager, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "In a lot of ways, this was a typical Milwaukee short-track race. Very fast, and with traffic playing a role in the outcome. But it was a clean race, with a record two cautions, and that was impressive. Congratulations to Scott Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi team on becoming the first repeat winner of 2009 and reclaiming the points lead; and 'well done' to all our associates at HPD and technical partner Ilmor for another successful race weekend for Honda."
-credit: honda racing