Dixon & Honda Claim IndyCar Titles in Sonoma
Honda driver Ryan Hunter-Reay led 80 of the 85 laps and comfortably won the race, but it was Scott Dixon who went home with the big trophy.
Having arrived at the final round with a 29-point lead over rival Alexander Rossi, Dixon was happy to stay second throughout the race and secure the championship. He has now tied A. J. Foyt as the only driver to win five career IndyCar championships.
Rossi’s challenge was over almost as soon as the race began. He collided with teammate Marco Andretti on the first lap, damaging his front wing and tires. After pitting for repairs, he was already down a lap on the leaders.
But he never gave up. Thanks to a caution on lap 43, he regained the lead lap and switched to an aggressive tire strategy to rapidly advance through the midfield. By lap 70 he had managed to climb all the way up to fifth, but by then his tires had taken their toll and his lap times suffered.
He finished seventh behind Andretti and Sebastian Bourdais, allowing Honda to claim five spots in the top seven and reinforcing what has been true all season: Honda has comfortably had the measure of Chevrolet this season.
Sonoma marked Honda’s 11th win of 2018 (out of 17) and its seventh IndyCar manufacturers’ championship since 1994, ending a long period of Chevrolet dominance.
Goodbye ASIMO: Beloved Honda robot retires