Sunday, 7 July 2013

Scott Dixon ends Ganassi's win drought - Pocono IndyCar 400 Review

Scott Dixon headed a Chip Ganassi Racing podium sweep, beating Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti to with the first IndyCar race at Pocono since 1989.

Andretti led from pole but it was his teammate James Hinchcliffe who stole the headlines on lap one when he clouted the wall at turn one, destroying his car and bringing out the first caution of the day.

When the race resumed it was still Andretti in the lead, the local racer held onto the lead until lap 30 when he came in to pit, handing the lead to Tony Kanaan.

Once everyone had completed their first pitstops, Andretti once again assumed the lead.

As he came in to pit at the end of lap 61, Ryan Hunter-Reay was struck from behind by Takuma Sato as the Japanese driver launched down the pitlane as a considerable speed. He struck the reigning series champion, sending him spinning into the pit wall.

The green flag dropped with Tony Kanaan in the lead after pitstops under the yellow, Andretti however passed for the lead before turn one and Helio Castroneves battled Kanaan for second. It was the Indy 500 winner though who held on to second.

Scott Dixon emerged in the lead after the next round of pitstops. Tony Kanaan made a move for the lead and took it, damaging his front wing in the process, ruining his chances. Power was the next to take the lead when Kanaan made his forced pitstop.

Marco Andretti passed for Power on lap 111, moving back in to first place but Power stayed close, intimidating the leader, making him do all of the work. With less than 40 laps to go, Andretti dropped back with power retaking the lead and Scott Dixon moving back into second.

Andretti pitted with 34 laps to go, with the intention of making the remaining race distance. With help from James Hinchcliffe's fueller (after an earlier problem in the pits for Andretti), he got away cleanly and rejoined the race.

As other pitted, it was Scott Dixon who led with Honda powered cars holding all of the top four positions with 25 laps to go. It was a Ganassi 1-2-3 as Charlie Kimball held second and Franchitti third. Pagenaud had fourth.

The Ganassi cars were untouchable and Dixon claimed the win ahead of Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti. Will Power finished fourth with Joseph Newgarden fifth. What started off as a promising weekend after completely dominating practice and qualifying then going on to lead 88 laps, Marco Andretti could only finish as high as tenth because he had to save fuel in the latter stages of the race.

After hitting Scott Dixon earlier in the race, Tony Kanaan finished, missing out on the chance of a one million bonus if he could win at Pocono and Fontana after winning at Indianapolis earlier in the season.

The win meant that Scott Dixon has won at least one race race nine seasons in a row. It was also Target's 100th win as a sponsor and Ganassi's first 1-2-3 finish in any form of motorsport. The organisation also competing in NASCAR and the Rolex Sports Car Series.

The IZOD IndyCar Series continues next weekend with a double header in Toronto with a race on both Saturday and Sunday, the Saturday race being IndyCar's first race with a standing start.

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