Scott Dixon wins record 4th Detroit Grand Prix, becoming 1st IndyCar driver to win 2 this season

DETROIT (AP) — Scott Dixon made some savvy decisions, choosing not to pit for rain tires early and calculating that he would have enough fuel to finish, that paid off at the Detroit Grand Prix.

Dixon also had some good fortune on his side.

“Some of it today was a little bit of luck,” he acknowledged.

Dixon won a record fourth Detroit Grand Prix, outlasting the competition in a caution-filled race on Sunday to become the first IndyCar driver with two victories this season. The six-time IndyCar Series champion won his 58th career race, trailing only A.J. Foyt's total of 67 in the series.

The New Zealand racer was responsible for the fifth and final lead change on Lap 66, and held off a late charge from Marcus Ericsson to break a tie in the Detroit Grand Prix record books with Will Power and Helio Castroneves.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver finished nearly a second ahead of Ericsson and was followed by Marcus Armstrong, Kyle Kirkwood and Alexander Rossi thanks to strategy that also served him well during his win at Long Beach in April.

“Scott Dixon is the best ever at what he did today, saving the fuel,” Ericsson said.

The Detroit Grand Prix got off to a rough start and failed to find much of a flow as eight cautions stunted nearly half of the 100-lap race.

“I don’t think it’s embarrassing,” Dixon said. “Most people go to races to watch crashes. I don’t.”

Theo Pourchaire tapped Power from behind on the third turn of Lap 1, tangling several cars in a rare spot to potentially pass on the tight, short and bumpy track.

Santino Ferrucci, whose driving drew Kyle Kirkwood's ire in practice on Saturday, tried to get around Castroneves and clipped him. Castroneves, a four-time Indy 500 champion, was filling in for struggling Tom Blomqvist for Meyer Shank Racing in the hopes of picking up points, only to finish 25th.

“I think people are driving reckless,” Ericsson said. “We’re some of the best drivers in the world racing so we shouldn’t be having incidents like today.”

As if the track didn't pose enough of a challenge, conditions added another obstacle on the nine-turn, 1.6-mile street course near the banks of the Detroit River.

Overnight rain removed some rubber from the street circuit and sporadic showers made it slick in spots.

Pole sitter Colton Herta, who led 31 laps early in the race, attempted to make an aggressive inside move midway through the race and lost control of the No. 26 Honda that went into a tire barrier and led to a 19th-place finish.

Dixon was thankful to be above the fray for much of the day.

“It was pretty wild,” he said.

STAR WATCH

Josef Newgarden had a humbling afternoon a day after Team Penske announced a multiyear contract extension with the back-to-back Indianapolis 500 winner. Late in the race, Newgarden lost control of the back end of his car — with no one nearby — and hit a wall to set up a 26th-place finish in the 27-car field.

Reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou, who won last year’s race in Detroit, started second and finished 16th to end a run of being eighth or better in points-paying races.

“A lot of guys that you know are going to be racing for a championship had a rough day,” said Dixon, who moved passed Palou, his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate to become the season’s points leader.

PARTY CRASHERS

In the shadow of General Motors’ world headquarters, Honda dominated in Detroit, with only Rossi cracking the top five in a Chevrolet.

“It felt good to spoil the party, for sure,” Ericsson said.

BOUNCING BACK

Ericsson and Kirkwood had season-best finishes, a week after both were disappointed at the Indy 500.

“It wasn’t weird," Ericsson said. "It was terrible.”

Blomqvist, a rookie, caused Ericsson to crash on the opening lap to end his bid to repeat at the Brickyard while Kirkwood had his hopes end with a penalty for avoidable contact on pit row.

UP NEXT

IndyCar shifts to Road America in Wisconsin on Sunday, putting drivers in cars to compete for a third straight week.

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