Dixon dominant in shortened IndyCar race at Detroit
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Scott Dixon put on a dominating performance to win Sunday's Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, a race which was stopped for a little more than two hours and therefore shortened to 60 laps due to track surface repairs.
The scheduled 90-lap race on the 2.07-mile Belle Isle street circuit in Detroit was red-flagged shortly after James Hinchcliffe struck a piece of asphalt, sending him into the tire barrier in turn seven. Chunks of asphalt in turns six, seven and 10 on the 14-turn circuit were coming loose before Hinchcliffe's incident occurred on lap 40.
"I've never seen anything quite like this," a frustrated Hinchcliffe said. "It was like playing Russian roulette, and I pulled the bullet."
Takuma Sato slid into the turn 12 wall at the same time Hinchcliffe crashed.
"In Turn 12, I clipped a very high curb and that made a huge kickback in the steering wheel, and it slipped from my grip, and that was the end of the race," Sato said
Track personnel repaired the affected areas of the track with an epoxy compound that required about 30 minutes of drying time. Will Power, Tony Kanaan and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti inspected the racing surface before the event resumed on lap 46.
With darkness approaching and safety concerns, IndyCar officials shortened the race by 30 laps.
Dixon started on the pole and led all 60 laps for his 28th career IndyCar victory. His teammate, Franchitti, finished second to give Target Chip Ganassi Racing its second straight 1-2 finish. Franchitti started 14th.
"I am super happy for the team - a 1-2 finish for the Target boys for the second week in a row," Dixon said. "I'd like to give a lot of credit to everyone at IndyCar and the Detroit staff for getting the track back in shape, so we could race. The final 15-lap shootout was exciting for me, so I sure hope the fans liked it. It is great to be back in Detroit, and I hope we are here for many years to come."
Dixon had to hold off Franchitti after two restarts during the 15-lap shootout to the finish.
"I thought in the first couple of laps (after the resumption), I had a chance, but he was too quick," Franchitti said. "And with our car breaking the front wing early on, the more the run went on the more understeer it got. But that's not to take anything away from the job "Dixie" (Dixon's nickname) did, and a 1-2 for Team Target after his brilliant qualifying and my abysmal one. "We'll take it."
Last week, Franchitti won the Indy 500 for the third time in his career, while Dixon finished second.
Simon Pagenaud finished third to give Honda a podium sweep in Chevrolet's backyard. Will Power from Team Penske was the highest finishing driver for Chevrolet with a fourth-place run. Oriol Servia completed the top-five.
Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Charlie Kimball, Mike Conway and Alex Tagliani finished sixth through 10th, respectively.
With the win, Dixon moved to within 26 points of Power in the championship standings. Power had won the three previous road/street course races -- Birmingham, Long Beach and Brazil.
06/03 21:00:53 ET