INDYCAR SERIES

[2020 Season Review] Takuma Sato Wins His Second Indy 500. Scott Dixon Claims Sixth Title

The IndyCar Series, the premier formula car championship in North America, was contested over 14 rounds in the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Teams powered by Honda’s HI20TT engine won seven of the 14 rounds, four in which Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) was behind the wheel, giving him the drivers’

[2020 Season Review] Takuma Sato Wins His Second Indy 500. Scott Dixon Claims Sixth Title

In the season’s biggest event, the Indianapolis 500, Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) repeated his 2017 performance to become the 20th multiple Indy 500 winner.


Scott Dixon one shy of record with sixth Indy title
Scott Dixon one shy of record with sixth Indy title

The 2020 IndyCar series was set to begin on March 15, but with the spread of COVID-19, the United States declared a state of emergency on March 13, canceling the season-opener.

After organizers deliberated the safest way to proceed, the first round was held on June 6 at the Texas Motor Speedway without spectators. As Qualifying and the race were held on the same day, Takuma Sato who crashed during the qualifying session was unable to race.

The fastest in the Texas round was Dixon, who started second on the grid to take the lead on Lap 32, and although temporarily relinquishing his position due to pitstop timings, was in full command of the race and was first to the checkered flag. His victory marked 16 consecutive seasons of wins, and tied A. J. Foyt’s record of 18 seasons with at least one win.


Dixon dominates season-opener
Dixon dominates season-opener

With momentum on his side, Dixon went on to win the following two rounds in Indianapolis and Road America. His performance in Round 4 was a disappointing 12th, but with a second and fifth places in the double-header in Iowa, he moved ahead by 49 points over his nearest competitor.

Round 7, the Indianapolis 500, went largely according to the customary three-week schedule. Practice spanned August 11 through 14, Qualifying was held on the 15th and 16th, and the race was on August 23. Honda-powered teams were strong in practice, and in Qualifying, eight of the top 9 through to Day 2 were Hondas. Marco Andretti (Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian) was on pole, Dixon second grid. Takuma Sato, qualifying third, became the first Japanese on the Indy 500 front row.

In the race sans spectators, Sato was consistently fighting for the lead, and on Lap 185, pulled ahead. Sato was pushed hard by Dixon but kept his lead as the race was yellow-flagged into a full course caution on Lap 196 due to a crash. The pace car led the field to the end, giving Sato his second Indy 500 victory since 2017.


Sato becomes 20th multiple Indy 500 winner in 104 year history
Sato becomes 20th multiple Indy 500 winner in 104 year history

The following weekend in the Gateway double-header, Dixon won Round 8 with Sato runner-up. In Round 9, Sato took pole position.

Rounds 10 and 11 were held as a double-header at Mid-Ohio. In Round 11, Hondas dominated the top 5. Colton Herta (Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport) was the winner, his fourth victory in his second year of IndyCar racing, and Andretti Autosport dominated the podium for the first time since 2005.

The double-header rounds 12 and 13 were held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October, a rarity for the IndyCar series. Dixon, who finished ninth and eighth, was still 32 points ahead of his closest rival going into the final round.


20-year-old Colton Herta wins fourth Indy race, moves up to third
20-year-old Colton Herta wins fourth Indy race, moves up to third

In Round 14, the season finale at St. Petersburg, Dixon finished third, keeping his points lead intact and winning the championship. 2020 marked his sixth title, one shy of the all-time record, and the 17th time a Honda driver became champion.

For the first time, Honda won its third consecutive manufacturers’ title. Indy 500-champion Takuma Sato finished the season in seventh place, a career best.

For 2021, Chip Ganassi Racing adds Alex Palou and NASCAR champion Jimmy Johnson to their 2020 champion Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericcson. Andretti Autosport will race with Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta. Two-time Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato continues to race alongside Graham Rahal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Meyer Shank Racing have Jack Harvey and Helio Castroneves. Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport and Dale Coyne Racing will be announcing their drivers soon.




Points

Pos

Driver

Maschine

Points

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

1

Scott Dixon

Honda

537

53

51

18

51

40

31

91

51

30

20

20

22

24

35

2

Josef Newgarden

Chevrolet

521

37

27

22

20

31

54

60

18

51

40

24

54

32

51

3

Colton Herta

Honda

421

26

32

31

30

10

11

49

32

29

23

54

33

41

20

4

Pato O'Ward

Chevrolet

416

18

24

44

24

33

19

56

38

41

19

22

8

30

40

5

Will Power

Chevrolet

396

17

14

20

41

9

41

33

15

36

54

26

28

54

8

6

Graham Rahal

Honda

377

13

41

7

27

18

36

72

12

10

32

33

27

26

23

7

Takuma Sato

Honda

348

3

20

24

22

21

9

108

41

26

13

13

12

16

20

8

Simon Pagenaud

Chevrolet

339

40

35

17

18

53

32

17

11

14

12

28

14

20

28

9

Alexander Rossi

Honda

317

15

5

35

11

28

24

12

8

16

36

40

40

35

12

10

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Honda

315

24

17

8

32

14

9

45

26

19

31

35

11

14

30

11

Felix Rosenqvist

Honda

306

10

15

51

12

17

15

37

25

26

28

8

31

19

12

12

Marcus Ericsson

Honda

291

11

29

32

21

22

22

10

30

7

15

31

20

15

26

13

Santino Ferrucci

Honda

290

9

22

28

28

17

12

65

15

20

16

17

16

18

7

 

15

Jack Harvey

Honda

288

14

14

13

8

26

26

44

19

17

26

18

24

28

11

16

Alex Palou

Honda

238

7

11

26

35

19

16

13

15

18

18

7

13

22

18

20

Marco Andretti

Honda

176

16

8

11

8

8

20

43

7

15

7

10

5

8

10

21

Zach Veach

Honda

166

33

17

14

14

7

10

31

9

8

10

13

0

0

0

23

James Hinchcliffe

Honda

138

12

19

0

0

0

0

57

0

0

0

0

16

17

17

32

Spencer Pigot

Honda

17

0

7

0

0

0

0

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

34

James Davison

Honda

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


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