Dixon wins at Mid-Ohio, Power reclaims points lead
Lexington, OH (Sports Network) - Scott Dixon won an IZOD IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the fourth time on Sunday, while Will Power finished second to reclaim the lead in the championship point standings.
Dixon beat Power out of the pits when both drivers made their second and final stops with 28 laps remaining. Dixon went on to finish 3.4 seconds ahead of Power for his second win of the season and the 29th of his IndyCar career.
Starting fourth, Dixon moved into second during the first round of stops. Power and Dixon pitted at the same time on lap 28, but Power came out ahead of him to remain the leader.
Dixon ran within one second behind Power before they made their last stops on lap 58.
"We started the race struggling a little bit, and we just couldn't get the front (of the car) to grip up," said Dixon, who led 26 laps. "It seemed like other people were struggling a little bit more. We were making fuel, and that's what got it for us. We were able to stretch and maintain the pace."
Dixon won the inaugural IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio in 2007. His two other victories here came in 2009 and last year.
Power started on the pole and led the first 57 laps.
"These are such tight pit boxes here, and (Dixon) had a clean in," he said. "We had a tight in, so some of that was me getting in. It's hard for the fuel to get in clean, because (the gasman) has to step back from my front wing to swing in."
The 85-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio course ran caution free, making it the second straight IndyCar event that did not feature any caution flags.
Rookie Simon Pagenaud finished third, while Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top-five.
Tony Kanaan placed sixth, followed by Ryan Briscoe, Marco Andretti, J.R. Hildebrand and Alex Tagliani.
Power's second-place run coupled with a 24th-place finish for Ryan Hunter-Reay allowed Power to take a five-point lead over Hunter-Reay.
"It's a very good points day," Power noted. "We'll keep chasing after it. We'll get a win here soon and keep going after that championship."
With the win, Dixon moved from 61 points behind to 28.
"What a fantastic day; it puts us back in the hunt," he said.
Hunter-Reay experienced an engine problem with less than 20 laps to go. He was the only driver to not finish the race, as he fell six laps off the pace.
"Unfortunately, the engine failed in a slow and miserable way," a disappointed Hunter-Reay said. "We really didn't need this right now."
Hunter-Reay had won three races in a row -- Milwaukee, Iowa and Toronto -- and held a 34-point lead following his victory at Toronto. Two weeks ago, he finished seventh at Edmonton and saw his lead trimmed to 23,
"We can still win this championship, but we can't have days like this," Hunter-Reay said.
Helio Castroneves is now 26 points out of the lead after finishing 16th. Castroneves had to start 23rd due to a 10-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change. He bounced back into the championship race by winning at Edmonton.
Just three races remain, with the series running next on Aug. 26 at Sonoma, California.
08/05 16:36:34 ET