Dixon dominates in IndyCar'south return to Phoenix in eleventh years

46
Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 9:15 AM

It was certainly was fast, but Scott Dixon took most of the danger out with a dominating performance. Dixon took the lead from Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan with one hundred fifty-five laps left and never relinquished control, dominating IndyCar'south first race at Phoenix International Raceway in eleventh years on Saturday night."The Target car was fast, really, really fast," Dixon said.

Dixon dominates in IndyCar'south return to Phoenix in eleventh years

IndyCar'south return to the desert was supposed to quick and furious, maybe even a little dangerous.

It was certainly was fast, but Scott Dixon took most of the danger out with a dominating performance.

Dixon took the lead from Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan with one hundred fifty-five laps left and never relinquished control, dominating IndyCar'south first race at Phoenix International Raceway in eleventh years on Saturday night.

"The Target car was fast, really, really fast," Dixon said. "I think at any point we'd sufficient for anybody that was challenging. We definitely, definitely had some speed in reserve for sure."

Dixon started sixth and took advantage of tire trouble that knocked two of Team Penske'south drivers out of the lead to move up the grid.

Once he passed Kanaan coming out of pit road, there was number stopping Dixon until he crossed the checkers below caution for his thirty-ninth career IndyCar race, tying Al Unser for fourth on IndyCar'south all-time list.

It was Dixon's twentieth win on an oval and gave him victories in a series-record twelve straight seasons, a label he'd shared with Bobby Unser, Emerson Fittipaldi and Helio Castroneves.

"It is mind-boggling," Dixon said of the records. "I like doing what I do."

Simon Pagenaud and Will Power helped rescue what could've been a disastrous day for Team Penske after Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya suffered blown tires early in the race.

Pagenaud made a huge thrust after going a lap down due to a back crack on a caution and finished second for the second straight week. Power was third after lost the season opener in St. Petersburg with an ear infection.

"Behind him (Dixon), we'd the pace," said Pagenaud, the points boss after two races. "It'south so challenging to pass, there was number interest for me to get that many risks and try. I mean, I was trying, don't obtain me wrong, but Will was trying, too, at the end, but there'south only so much you can do at some point of the race."

Kanaan finished fourth to give Chevy the top four spots and Honda driver Graham Rahal was fifth.

IndyCar returned to PIR for the first time since two thousand five and the drivers faced a reconfigured-and-repaved track that was much faster than before.

Maybe too fast.

Drivers began breaking track records, at minimum unofficially, during a test in Feb and during the first practice session on Friday, when sixteen of twenty-two drivers eclipsed Arie Luyendyk'south 20-year-old record.

Six more drivers blew past the record during qualifying, led by pole sitter Castroneves' lap of more than one hundred ninety-two mph.

With the race coming below the lights, the concern was that lower temperatures could lead to even more speed and risky conditions with small room to pass.

Instead of carnage, the race was fairly clean — except for Team Penske.

Castroneves led the first thirty-nine laps, but dropped out after his right front tire blew out.

Montoya took the lead when Castroneves was forced into the pits, then he suffered the same problem to the same tire and was forced to the pits after leading fifty-six laps.

"This is unbelievable," Montoya said on the radio as he pulled into his pit stall.

The Penske drivers worked their way back toward the front, but couldn't create up all the ground. Montoya finished ninth and Castroneves was 11th.

"Anytime I pushed behind somebody, I picked up the same vibrations," Montoya said. "Being where we were, the latest thing we needed was to go two laps down for another tire, so I just couldn't do anything."

Dixon had number trouble with tires or anything else. He was the fastest car off pit road and to the starting line after a few more cautions, his lead never really challenged on the way to his twentieth career win on an oval.

POWER'south RUN: Power'south tender to win a second IndyCar championship appeared to get a enormous hit when he was unable to climb into the cockpit at St. Pete with what was originally diagnosed as a concussion.

He took a enormous step toward climbing back into the race, emotional toward the front after starting ninth and hanging around the lead to earn a spot on the podium.

Power picked up thirty-five points with the third-place finish, emotional him within forty-seven of Pagenaud's lead.

"Obviously, for me it'south just finishing tonight and we'll look as the season goes along, just have fun with it, not really any pressure and we'll look what happens in the end," Power said. "It'south a very long championship and you've got a couple double-points races. I think I can crawl back."

TINY CROWD: PIR is typically jam-packed for its two NASCAR races, with long lines of cars spreading in every direction to obtain in and the grandstands mostly full.

IndyCar'south return to Phoenix for the first time since two thousand five wasn't quite the same draw.

Getting into the track was number problem and large sections of the stands were empty.

UP NEXT: The Streets of Long Shore on April seventeen. Scott Dixon won latest year's race.

READ ALSO
Couture lifts Sharks to 3-2 shootout win over Predators

Couture lifts Sharks to 3-2 shootout win over Predators

Logan Couture scored the only goal of the shootout to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 comeback triumph over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

80
No crunch: Balanced Kings drop Denver

No crunch: Balanced Kings drop Denver

Kings in double figures in scoring. Blocks by the Nuggets. Points scored by James Anderson and Kosta Koufos of the Kings. Road wins for the Kings, three more than all of latest season.

98
Final Four no crunch: Villanova, UNC roll

Final Four no crunch: Villanova, UNC roll

Villanova’s missed field goals in the second half of the Wildcats’ 95-51 win over Oklahoma. Assists for Syracuse against N Carolina. Points scored by OK star Buddy Hield on 4-of-12 shooting.

64
Republic FC slips past AZ United SC in residence opener

Republic FC slips past AZ United SC in residence opener

Iwasa, a second-year forward out of Jesuit High School, entered in the eightieth min after Sacramento had been dominating the match but had number goals.

74