IndyCar: Newgarden and Dixon Victorious in Detroit Grand Prix

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Scott Dixon celebrates in the fountain with his Chip Ganassi Racing team members after his win in the 2019 Detroit Grand Prix. Image sourced from @HondaRacing_HPD via Twitter.

Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon were victorious in the NTT IndyCar Series’ Detroit Grand Prix double-header.

Newgarden the Rain-Master

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden during the 2019 Detroit Grand Prix weekend. Image sourced from @josefnewgarden via Twitter.

Rain storms on Saturday saw the first race of the weekend delayed by over an hour. Subsequently, this would ultimately lead to a timed race of just 75 minutes.

Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi started Saturday’s race from pole-position, after setting the fastest time in the morning’s condensed qualifying session.

As the track began to dry throughout the race, drivers gambled with when to pit for slick tires. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden moved into the race lead when Alexander Rossi pitted under a caution on Lap 19.

Despite pressure from Rossi, Newgarden never relinquished the lead afterwards, and earned his second win of the season.

Rossi would eventually cross the line in second, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Takuma Sato rounding out the podium in third.

Also of note in Saturday’s race were the on-track incidents involving several championship contenders.

Midway through the race, a poor pit-stop left Penske’s Will Power with just three tires on his car. The incident shuffled Power down the standings, with the Australian finishing the day in 18th.

Scott Dixon’s day also came to an early end, when his  No. 9 PNC Bank Honda hit a tire barrier with just 30 minutes remaining. The rare incident for Dixon marked the first time in two years he has failed to complete a race.

Redemption for Dixon in Detroit

After a rare retirement in race one, Scott Dixon recovered to claim the race two win in the 2019 Detroit Grand Prix. Image sourced from @IndyCar via Twitter.

After rainstorms swept the Detroit area on Saturday, conditions improved significantly on Sunday with sunny skies over the track.

Josef Newgarden was able to convert his dominant win on Saturday into a pole position in Race 2.

Sunday’s race got off to a rather disappointing start for last weekend’s Indy 500 Champion Simon Pagenaud, after the Frenchman was involved in a collision on Lap 1.  

Scott Dixon, took the lead near the race’s mid-way point after race leader Santino Ferrucci made his first pit stop.

Rookie driver Felix Rosenqvist then crashed with just five laps to go and brought out the red flag.

A late race restart made for an exciting finish, with Marcus Ericsson and Will Power hunting down Dixon.

The veteran showed his experience, and the Chip Ganassi driver claimed his 45th career victory.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson’s Marcus Ericsson earned his first ever career podium in IndyCar, crossing the line in second just ahead of Penske’s Will Power.

After a long double-header weekend, teams and drivers will have very little time to recuperate. 

On Saturday, the series heads to the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night for the DXC Technology 600.

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