Scott Dixon leads Honda effort in opening race of doubleheader NTT INDYCAR SERIES weekend at Iowa Speedway; second race on Sunday. Marcus Ericsson maintains series championship lead with eighth-place finish. Jimmie Johnson recovers from early spin to lead 18 laps
Scott Dixon took advantage of a Chip Ganassi Racing Honda that handled well on long runs; using the final, caution free 77 laps to lead the Honda effort with a fifth-place finish in today's HY-VEEDEALS.com 250 at Iowa Speedway.
The first of two NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this weekend on the high-banked short oval, Dixon was one of several drivers to pit during an early caution on Lap 17, and used fresh tires to move from his 13th starting position to join the lead group. His Chip Ganassi Racing Honda excelled during long, caution-free runs, and enabled the six-time series champion to take the checkers in fifth.
Teammate and defending series champion Alex Palou finished sixth, with the Andretti Autosports Honda of Romain Grosjean in seventh; while current championship leader Marcus Ericsson managed to hold on to the Drivers' points lead, despite fading to an eighth-place finish in the closing laps.
One of only three lap leaders on the day, Jimmie Johnson recovered from an early-race spin to lead 18 laps and feature in several entertaining duels for position throughout today's 250-lap contest, before also dropping back in the final laps due to tire wear and finishing 11th, just behind fellow Honda drivers Graham Rahal and Christian Lundgaard.
With a lap distance of just 0.89 miles, the banked Iowa Speedway oval is the shortest circuit on the 2020 schedule. Today's HY-VEEDeals.com 250 will be a 250-lap event; while Sunday's HY-VEE Salute To Farmers 300 will run for 300 laps.
Honda drivers have scored eight wins in 15I previous races at Iowa Speedway. Honda's most recent Iowa Speedway victory came in 2018, when James Hinchcliffe came from mid-field to dominate the final 50 laps and score Honda's sixth (of an eventual 11) 2018 race wins. The win also marked the sixth career IndyCar Series victory for Hinchcliffe.
The second half of this weekend's doubleheader NTT INDYCAR SERIES weekend continues tomorrow at Iowa Speedway with the HY-VEE Salute to Famers 300. Green flag for the 300-lap race will be at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on NBC.