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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Scott Dixon links Mario Andretti with 52nd career IndyCar win

TORONTO ( Associated Press) — Scott Dixon has been waiting for more than a year to add Mario Andretti to second place on IndyCar’s career win list.

Only AJ Foyt is ahead of him.

The six-time Series champion broke a 22-race winless streak on Sunday when he made a late resume to win the series over pole sitters Colton Herta and Felix Rosenquist in Canada after a three-year hiatus.

Dixon’s 52nd career win comes more than 21 years after his first win in Pennsylvania – the only one in his career that didn’t come with Chip Ganassi Racing – and gives him some rare air. The next win puts Dixon ahead of Andretti and continues the climb to Foyt, who holds a record that can never be broken with 67 career victories.

“It’s amazing. Honestly, to be close to Mario — every time I get asked these questions, I’m so grateful that we still have AJ and he in the pits,” Dixon said. . It’s huge, man. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this group.”

Herta, who tested for McLaren in Formula 1 earlier in the week, finished second for Andretti Autosport. Rosenquist was third, Graham Rahal fourth and Marcus Ericsson fifth to extend their points lead.

“It was a really good day for us,” Ericsson said. “We had a good plan, a good strategy. The crew did a great job. ,

Not as good as his Ganassi teammate.

Dixon qualified second and, despite creative fueling and tire strategies, spent the day as a jockey for track conditions early in the race. And the New Zealander, who turned 42 on Friday, was still in front when Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Kirkwood took the final precaution and forced a restart with 18 laps to go.

Dixon quickly opened a 2 second gap on Herta and never dropped it, cruising to Toronto for the fourth win of his career. His first win anywhere in Texas since May 2021 also boosted his record by at least one every year since 2004.

It also pushed Dixon into the point race; A seventh championship would match Foyt for the most in history.

“It was a tough drive, man. I don’t know,” Dixon said after getting out of the car. “End a (without a win) streak, which is fantastic. So happy for the team. It’s been a crazy year. I still feel very bad for (Indy)500. it feels great.”

The win was also a breath of fresh air for Ganassi Garage, which was thrown into turmoil this week over the contract status of series winner Alex Palu. Ganassi issued a news release on Tuesday stating that he exercised his option on Palau for the next season, only to be denied by Palau and rival team McLaren announced that he would be driving for it.

Palu recovered from a train wreck to finish sixth on Sunday.

Herta’s second place on the bumpy, bumpy Toronto circuit capped off a whirlwind week, starting with a test in Portugal for McLaren’s F1 program. The road-course ace was quick from the minute the Andretti team unloaded him, qualifying on pole for the second time this season before securing his second win.

“Felix was really fast and I’m glad we were able to put him behind us,” said Herta, “but it looked like he would give us a few more laps. We struggled a bit with tire wear at the end but Our car was amazing. One of those races I should be proud of.”

future friends, present enemies

Rosenquist tried to pass Alexander Rossi from midpoint, diving down from a corner and forcing the Andretti Autosport driver into the outside wall. It was the same offensive move as Rossi did in mid-Ohio to ruin teammate Romain Grosjean – though not in Rossi’s opinion.

“I wasn’t about to overtake last week. Not exactly the same,” Rossi said, “but it’s a shame.”

Rosenquist and Rossi could soon be teammates. The former will return with McLaren next season, although it is uncertain whether it will be a ride for IndyCar, while Rossi has already announced plans to join the team.

long journey, short stay

Two-time Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s day ended after the opening lap, when he appeared to be squeezed trying to get through Turn 2. He took heavy damage to his front suspension, but managed to limp back in the pit area.

Sato has only had one Top 10 since the start of the season in St Petersburg during a difficult first year with Del Coyne Racing.

look at the pits

The course of the Exhibition Place has become a challenging patchwork of asphalt and concrete, with large sections being replaced because of the damage caused by the cold winter. Then caution took off with lap 30, when a chunk of concrete about the size of a football came loose from the worn, weathering surface.

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More Associated Press Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

World Nation News Desk
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