Dixon doubles up in Toronto
In Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto, Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon started from pole, jumped to the lead, and survived two late race restarts in scoring a thoroughly dominant victory in the 28th Indy car race at Exhibition Place. The win was the 32nd of Dixon's career, moving the Kiwi into sole possession of 7th place on the all time IndyCar/Championship racing wins list. Also, sweeping the doubleheader earned Dixon the $100,000 Sonax Perfect Finish Award.
It was also the third win in 8 days for the driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Dallara-Honda, as Dixon earned the checkered flag in last week's race at Pocono.
Charlie Kimball made it three Ganassi cars in the top-6, coming home behind Franchitti. Mike Conway was seventh for the second straight day with Dale Coyne Racing teammate Justin Wilson eighth. Marco Andretti and Canadian Alex Tagliani rounded out the top-10.
Unfortunately, Toronto native James Hinchcliffe endured something of a forgetful weekend. The driver of the #27 Go-Daddy Chevrolet finished 8th yesterday, but experienced a stuck throttle at the beginning of the race. The Mayor of Hinchtown lost three laps, was eliminated from contention and finished 21st. It was the fifth time in 2013, Hinchcliffe finished outside the top-20.
Hinchcliffe’s Andretti Autosport teammate and winner of the 2012 Toronto race Ryan Hunter-Reay endured an even worse weekend. After finishing 18th yesterday, Hunter-Reay was running in the top-five prior to the final restart with two laps remaining. However, the reigning series champion got tangled in a accident with Will Power and Takuma Sato, and finished 19th.
As for Power, he ran in the top-5 both days, but fell victim to late race accidents in each race. He finished 15th and 18th respectively.
Overall, the story of the day was Dixon's dominance. Although the Kiwi had never scored a podium finish in six Toronto starts prior to the weekend, he clearly had the car to beat both days. At times in today's race, Dixon stretched his lead over 10 seconds, and without two late cautions may have won by over 20 seconds.
Further, the magical weekend vaulted Dixon to second in the series championship standings just 29 points behind leader Castroneves.
For now, the competitors and teams will enjoy a nice three week break after a grueling stretch of 9 races in 8 weekends. The Izod IndyCar Series will be back in action August 4th for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, second): “The car was better today. They were in a different league, Scott and Ganassi guys. I was pushing. Whatever he is taking for breakfast, I want it. Scott, tell me what you’re having for breakfast. Let’s be realistic: The guy was leading the whole race, 13 seconds ahead.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): (About racing without push-to-pass, which malfunctioned on his car): “It was really hard, and it was from seventh place. I thought I was a sitting duck. Things just turned our way. I had a really good car on the restart. I was hooked up. I knew as soon as Ryan (Hunter-Reay) passed me, I had to get him back. I went for it, and it worked out.”
Note: Car #6 placed behind Car #78 for not observing lapped car reorder.
Point Standings: Castroneves 425, Dixon 396, Hunter-Reay 356, Andretti 255, Pagenaud 309, Kanaan 307, Franchitti 307, Hinchcliffe 305, Wilson 296, Power 273
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