Scott Dixon put on a clinic at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday at Fort Worth, Texas, winning there for the fifth time in his career.
Dixon led a 1-2 Kiwi finish in his Honda-powered Dallara as fellow New Zealander Scott McLaughlin, driving a Team Penske Chevrolet, trailed him to the checkered flag by a mere .2646 of a second as Dixon led a record 206 of 212 laps for Chip Ganassi Racing.
“Huge result for a race for a couple of Kiwis, which is great to see,” Dixon said. “Commenting preseason, people are like, ‘How do you feel about having another Kiwi on the grid?’
“I’ve been waiting 20 years for it. It’s great to see him over here. He’s a massive talent. He’s going to have a lot of victories, man. I have to try to hold him off while I can.”
McLaughlin comes to the IndyCar Series from Australian V8 Supercars, where he was a three-time champion. In his first race involving only turning left, he stayed composed and didn’t make any bad moves.
“Well, it’s definitely the most happy I’ve ever been finishing second,” McLaughlin said. “It’s one of those things where a little bit unexpected just because I knew how tough it was going to be sort of getting through the field. But, yeah, things fell our way. For it to happen on an oval is a pretty proud moment.”
Mexico’s Pato O’Ward came in third, Spain’s Alex Palou — winner of the season’s first race — was fourth and Graham Rahal rounded out the top five.
But it was Dixon’s night — again — in Texas, where race finishes are often by fractions of a second.
“I think this track is kind of coming to be a bit like Kansas used to be for our team, where we would just go there and it would be somewhat of a pack race typically,” Dixon said. “… a Chip Ganassi car would just check out. Dan (Wheldon) won there, I won there, T.K. (Tony Kanaan) won there. I don’t know if Dario (Franchitti) did at some point. It’s just one of those races we’d turn up, you’d almost guarantee a podium finish.”
Last week’s winner, Colton Herta, finished 22nd after his car had mechanical issues late in the race.
Separate accidents by Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe brought out the only two cautions of the race, and neither driver was hurt.
–Field Level Media
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