Chip Ganassi Racing went 1-2 in the second oval race of the 2015 IndyCar season.
Scott Dixon overcame a Penske juggernaut to come out on top in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
In a fast-paced race that had copious amounts of strategies, Dixon and teammate Tony Kanaan played it right to score a 1-2 finish for Chip Ganassi Racing over Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya. Marco Andretti rounded out the top five and was the final car to finish the race on the lead lap.
The win allowed Dixon to close in on the championship lead, cutting 20 points out of his deficit to Montoya.
A clean race
The race began with an 84 lap opening stint before a yellow was called for debris on the frontstretch. During the opening stint, several drivers began short pitting to put newer tires on as tires began to degrade as early as two laps after a new pitstop. The 248-lap race went incident free with just that one debris caution slowing the action.
The defining moment came when Montoya moved up high to let his Penske teammate Castroneves take over the lead with JPM's car better in traffic and Helio's better in clean air. The decision backfired as both went high at the same time, allowing both Dixon and Kanaan to blow by.
The first car out of the race was Jack Hawksworth with a mechanical issue. He was joined later on by teammates Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden whose cars both had engines that expired within two minutes of each other.
Vautier soon joined the Ed Carpenter Racing duo in the garage area with a mechanical failure of his own.
As the race progressed, different teams tried different pit strategies as tire management became critical. Laps as low as 188 mph were being turned by cars running on old tires as many were hoping for a yellow that just never came.
Dixon led a race-high 97 laps and his victory was the 37th of his IndyCar racing career, placing him two behind Al Unser Sr. This was Chip Ganassi Racing’s 99th victory.