Last To First: Dixon Wins

Scott Dixon celebrates his first victory of the season in the Honda Indy 200.  [Andy Clary Photo]


Scott Dixon was a favorite to win the Honda Indy 200 coming into the weekend at Mid Ohio Raceway.

Following qualifying, Dixon was not so much of a favorite anymore.

A mistake in qualifying resulted in a spin that caused a red flag and disallowed Dixon’s qualifying times and positioning him last on the grid.

On Sunday, Dixon raced from the back of the pack to the front, winning the Honda Indy 200 for the fifth time.  Fuel strategy and experience on the road course in Lexington, Ohio propelled the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver to the win as he led the final 23 laps and took the checkers 5.3864 seconds in front of Sebastien Bourdais.

“Relief is the biggest thing,” said Dixon following the win.  “It’s a lot later in the season than we are used to.  The car was extremely fast until I made the mistake in qualifying.  I thought to try and come from last on the grid to a top ten was going to be extremely tough to do.  We got that caution and had to make massive fuel mileage after that.  That was the challenge to maintain pace in front of people that just pit and we had to try and extend the stint.  The fuel light came on two laps earlier than we thought.  Had we not continued to save fuel, we would have been a lap short.”

Pole sitter Sebastien Bourdais, driving for KVSH Racing, led 38 laps including the opening 25 laps on his way to the runner-up finish, his best career result at Mid Ohio.

“You can never be disappointed with a podium,” said Bourdais.  “Honestly, we really didn’t have anything for Dixie (Scott Dixon).  You look at the scenario of the race and the safety car period couldn’t have fallen at a worse moment. I don’t think Dixie’s strategy would have worked without that.  But, the fastest car won the race, that’s pretty much all that matters in the end.  We didn’t have the pace on reds (tires) and that is the story of the race.”

The final spot on the podium was captured by Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe.  The third place run was the best of the season and also best finish at Mid Ohio for Hinchcliffe.  Hinchcliffe avoided an opening lap wreck involving Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti to charge forward from his seventeenth to run with the leaders.

“17th to third sounds impressive until you talk to Scott (Dixon).  He just has to go showboat like he always does here,” laughed Hinchcliffe.  “The first lap was really what made our race.  Staying out of the mess and finding that middle line into turn four.  We took advantage of cars scattering and made up a bunch of spots.  Once we bolted on the reds, the car was really good.  Just proud of the guys to get a podium after the year we had.”

Will Power took over the points lead with a sixth place finish after coming into the weekend thirteen points back.  Teammate Helio Castroneves, the point leader entering this race, suffered throttle issues prior to the start of the race and found himself five laps behind when the Team Penske crew fixed the issue and allowed him to re-enter the race.  Power now has a four point lead in the standings with three races to go in the 2014 IndyCar Series season.

The win for Dixon was the thirty-fourth of his IndyCar Series career, tying him for sixth in all time wins with Al Unser, Jr.

The series next visits the historic Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, WI on August 17th for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250.

Share Button