Dixon and Honda Dominate IndyCar Return
On Sunday, June 7, the first IndyCar race since the COVID-19 quarantine took place at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. AddedScott Dixon and Honda wasted no time asserting their dominance over the rest of the field.
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The IndyCar return, however, wasn’t without a few ominous Sunday issues for Honda. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, and Graham Rahal all experienced a problem with their electronic control unit (a spec part). Because of social distancing protocols, Honda engineers were unable to assist the drivers during the engine starting procedure, and all three were forced to go at least one lap down to the leaders right from the start.
Fortunately, Dixon had one of his best IndyCar races yet. Josef Newgarden had taken pole position and the early lead, but Dixon and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, clearly had the faster car. Dixon passed Newgarden on lap 32 and held an almost absolute grasp on the lead after that, while Rosenqvist, who looked good for second, ultimately crashed out of the race when attempting to pass a lapped driver.
By the end of the 200-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval, Dixon had led 157 of those laps, at times pulling a gap of over five seconds. His IndyCar return victory extended his record for consecutive season wins, at 16, and tied A.J. Foyt’s record of scoring at least one IndyCar victory across 18 seasons.
“The car rolled off the trailer really fast,” Dixon said after the race. “We’ve also been using the Honda simulator in Indy for the last three weeks, and that was a big help in our preparation. It’s not often you get an amazing car like this. It was a fun night for us and a great way to get started back [racing] after a long break.”
“The Honda engine, it was huge, man, the power out there,” Dixon added. “Our car was just so fast tonight, in any situation. We had to make a couple of bold moves tonight, and we could just go for it. Huge thanks to the team and everyone involved.”
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Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.