・Scott Dixon vaults into championship contention with victory at Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville
・Late charge sees defending champion Alex Palou finish third
・Dixon’s 53rd career win moves him to second on the all-time victory list
Despite early race contact that left his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda without a large portion of its downforce-producing floor – and an additional four pit stops to repair the damage – Scott Dixon went on to win today’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in downtown Nashville, and jump to second in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers’ Championship, just six points behind leader Will Power with three races remaining.
Key to Dixon’s 53rd career Indy car victory today was pitting just prior to a Lap 51 full-course caution, enabled him to move to second place, then take over the lead when Josef Newgarden made his final stop of the day. The win also moves Dixon to sole possession of second in career Indy car victories, ahead of Mario Andretti and behind only the legendary A.J. Foyt with 67.
For a third consecutive race weekend, Rahal Letterman Lanigan rookie Christian Lundgaard looked to be in contention for a podium finish, until a flurry of late-race cautions and restarts saw him bumped down the order to eighth. In his place, defending series champion Alex Palou put on a late race charge that saw him go from fifth to third at the finish.
Involved in separate incidents in the opening laps, Andretti Autosport teammates Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta clawed their way from the rear of the field – and one lap down to the leaders – to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
・Honda drivers and Chip Ganassi Racing have now won both Big Machine Music City Grands Prix in Nashville.
・In the inaugural race last year, Honda drivers and teams dominated the results sheet, as Marcus Ericsson recovered from an opening lap contact and brief “flight” to head a Honda sweep of the first seven finishing positions, and eight of the top 10. Today’s winner, Scott Dixon, finished second and James Hincliffe third to complete the Honda sweep.
・Previously, INDYCAR and the Indy Racing League conducted eight races on the 1.33- mile Nashville Super Speedway oval in Lebanon, Tennessee, from 2001-2008. Honda drivers and teams won five of the six races the manufacturer contested, from 2003-08.