Five-time and defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon led a race-high 39 laps Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, en route to a second-place finish at the INDYCAR Grand Prix and closed to within six points of the drivers’ championship lead.
Starting second, Dixon took the point from teammate Felix Roseqvist on the 16th lap of today’s 85-lap contest, and went on to control the race until the closing laps under constantly changing conditions as grey skies gave way to light rain mid-race, then a heavier shower 20 laps before the finish. The track changed yet again, drying in the final 10 laps, and Dixon was forced to yield to eventual race winner Simon Pagenaud on the penultimate lap. Dixon’s second-place finish, his fourth podium result in five races this season, moved him to within six points (182-176) of championship leader Josef Newgarden, who finished 15th.
Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey had a career-best weekend, starting third and running second to Dixon for extended periods of the contest. Although he also was unable to keep the surging Pagenaud at bay in the closing laps, today’s third-place result was a career best in his second season of IndyCar Series competition.
With three wins in five races this season, Honda also continues to lead the IndyCar Manufacturers’ Championship, with an unofficial total of 424 points to 360 points for Chevrolet.
With the completion of today’s INDYCAR Grand Prix, the focus of drivers and teams now turns to the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500. Activities on the famed 2.5-mile oval begin Tuesday with the first of four full days of practice for the May 26th event, and qualifying starting on Saturday, May 18.
Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
"I thought maybe I could hold the gap [while leading eventual race winner Simon Pagenaud], but the harder I pushed, the worse the car understeered. I just blistered the front tires off the car. But all in all, a solid effort. It was a tricky race with constantly changing conditions. It hurts to lead that many laps and come up short, but big thanks to Honda and PNC Bank, and congrats to Simon [Pagenaud]. He drove a hell of a race and earned the victory today."
"I’ve believed in this team right from our start together at the Indianapolis 500 in 2017. I knew this weekend [result] would happen eventually. Everyone at Meyer Shank Racing has worked so hard to give us this podium. It wasn’t an easy race – half dry and half wet – but we put on a great show for everybody. You can see how happy everyone [here] is with a podium finish, can you imagine how happy everyone is going to be when we get our first win? That’s where we’re going."
"What an up-and-down day for all of us at Honda. Both Scott Dixon and Jack Harvey were on form all weekend and earned their podium finishes in very trying conditions today. As we’re fond of saying, ‘victories aren’t sweet without strong competitors’, and Simon Pagenaud is certainly an excellent driver, as he demonstrated today. Looking at the positives, we’re going into the rest of the Month of May from a position of strength, leading the Manufacturers’ Championship and with several drivers, led by Scott, challenging for the drivers’ title. We’re looking forward to the Indianapolis 500 and chasing our 13th win in this legendary event."