Dixon Leads Detroit Sweep for Honda

Dixon Leads Detroit Sweep for Honda

  • Scott Dixon leads Honda sweep of top six positions in opening race of doubleheader
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi complete all-Honda podium
  • Second race in doubleheader weekend runs Sunday

DETROIT, Mich. (June 2, 2018) – For the second consecutive year, Honda drivers dominated the opening round of the Dual in Detroit doubleheader Verizon IndyCar Series weekend, leading all 70 laps, with Scott Dixon spearheading a Honda sweep of the top six finishing positions.

Starting from the pole, Marco Andretti led until the first round of scheduled pit stops was completed. Ryan Hunter-Reay, running a three pit-stop, “out of sequence” strategy, assumed the lead. Then, taking control in the second half of the 70-lap contest, Dixon maintained a narrow, but consistent margin over his pursuers in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda for the remainder of the day.

Winner of both races in 2017, Graham Rahal mounted a challenge for the lead though Lap 46, when he crashed without injury in Turn 13 to end his race. Hunter-Reay then moved to second, while his Andretti Autosport teammates, Andretti and Alexander Rossi, battled over the final podium spot, with Rossi taking the position for the final time on Lap 70.

The win is the first for Dixon this season, and his 42nd career Indy car victory, highest among active drivers. Hunter-Reay’s second-place result equals his best of 2018 – scored at Barber Motorsports Park – while Rossi takes over the Drivers’ Championship lead with his third-place finish. Heading into tomorrow’s race, Rossi has 276 points to 272 for Dixon.

Following the lead trio to the checkers was Andretti, with Takuma Sato and Ed Jones rounding out the top six for Honda. Activities continue Sunday in Detroit with the second of this weekend’s two 70-lap Verizon IndyCar Series races. The eighth round of the 2018 championship begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started second, finished first, his 42nd career Indy car victory and first win of 2018: “It’s big. It’s nice to get that first win out of the way. Getting around Marco [Andretti] on that first stop, that was big, and my pit stops were fantastic. We came up a little short in the last few races, but to bounce back last week … it’s always good to be back in the winner’s circle.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started fifth, finished second: “Man, it was a physical race out there today. We had good strategy and a good race car. I had good pace though Turns 1-2-3-4 and thought that might be my chance if he [Dixon] made a mistake, but that’s Scott Dixon. We just came up a little bit short on this one. We’re going to put our best foot forward tomorrow.”

Art St. Cyr (president, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Honda victory in Detroit: “What a great day for HPD today. To rebound from disappointing Indianapolis 500 last week to sweep the top six in IndyCar, go 1-2 in the GTD class in the IMSA race, plus second and third in the prototype class, should be reason for all HPD associates to be proud. Fortunately, with this format, we get to come back and try to do it all again tomorrow! Congratulations to everyone connected with our racing programs.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix

Circuit:                             Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit) Detroit, Mich.

2017 Winners:   Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 103.015 mph average, Race 1, Saturday

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) 105.442 mph average, Race 2, Sunday

Weather:           Mostly sunny, mild, 69 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
1. 2. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 70 99.285 mph average
2. 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 70 +1.8249 seconds
3. 4. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 70  
4. 1. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 70  
5. 7. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 70  
6. 11. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 70
7. 6. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 70
8. 3. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Mtspts Honda 70  
9. 13. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 70  
10. 12. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 70  

Other Honda Results

11. 9. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Mtspts Honda 70 Running
12. 16. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 70 Running
13. 17. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda 70 Running
22. 18. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 55 Did not finish – crash
23. 8. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 45 Did not finish – crash