Scott Dixon held off a four-car Penske assault to take the victory for the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America, Round 10 of the 2917 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. The Kiwi earned his first win at the favored circuit, his No. 9 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda finishing 0.5779 seconds ahead of a hard-charging Josef Newgarden.
Dixon’s first win of the season is the 41st of his career and came after a lack-luster qualifying session. Starting behind all four Team Penske machines and having not led a lap at Road America before today’s race, Dixon overcame the odds to emerge victorious.
The move of the race came on lap 25, where Dixon passed Newgarden’s No. 2 Penske Chevrolet around the outside of Turn 1, a bold move during the restart after the first full course yellow of the race.
Tony Kanaan brought out the third and final full course caution of the day after running off at the Kink, making hard contact with the outside wall. He made contact with Rossi coming out of the Carousel, losing a portion his left front wing. The No. 10 sailed through the Kink and slid off track with reduced grip. The incident set the field up for a final dash for the checkers with seven laps to go.
Dixon held off Newgarden despite having a disadvantage with less push to pass time left on his Honda. Newgarden’s runner-up finish is the third podium of the season, a good points run, but the entire Penske team will be disappointed in the missed win. There were six lead changes shared by four different drivers, the first of whom was Helio Castroneves.
Visibly exhausted after the 220-mile sprint through the sprawling hills of northern Wisconsin, Castroneves held onto the final spot on the podium after starting on the pole. Newgarden was the first to get around Castronves with a pass in Turn 1.
The two Penske Chevrolets of Simon Pagenaud and Will Power completed the top five. Both drivers failed to lead a lap despite the strong Penske showing though practice and qualifying. Charlie Kimball, Ed Jones, Graham Rahal, Max Chilton and Mikhail Aleshin completed the top 10.
Dixon leaves the weekend with an extended pionts lead with a total of 379 points, 34 ahead of Simon Pagenaud. Castroneves trails in third place by 37 while Takuma Sato sits in fourth 56 points back. Newgarden completed the top 5, 61 points back.
The next round of the Verizon IndyCar Series is the Iowa Corn 300 in Newton, Iowa on July 9. The series visits its third oval of the year for a Sunday afternoon on the 7/8 mile high-banked short oval.