Scott Dixon had a dominating run at Texas Motor Speedway, winning by 7.8 seconds over teammate Tony Kanaan on Saturday night in the fastest IndyCar Series race ever at the track.
Dixon led 97 of the 248 laps in a race that had only two cautions. His second win of the season came with an average speed of 191.940 mph
After anxiety about how the cars would handle on the high-speed, high-banked track with the new aero kits, especially after three Chevrolets went airborne during practice for the Indianapolis 500, there were no accidents.
Driving the No. 9 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, Dixon got his 37th career win. The New Zealander also won at TMS in 2008.
Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya finished third and fourth.
TMS president Eddie Gossage made it clear to IndyCar that he wanted a better race this time around. The series hadn’t produced quality races at Texas, for whatever reason, in recent years.
And IndyCar acknowledged that the racing could certainly improve.
The early signs Saturday suggested that Gossage may be sending another memo to IndyCar next year. More single-file racing, more yawns.
The storylines were predictable with a Chevrolet-heavy leader board early on, and Team Penske providing the biggest threats to win the race.
There weren’t any significant wrecks, which is a positive to some, but that also meant little drama.
Pole-sitter Will Power lost the lead early on to Simon Pagenaud, who led for more than 60 laps early on. That is more than the total number of laps Pagenaud had led all season — 40. Power, meanwhile, faded away quietly as the race wore on.
Kanaan eventually overtook Pagenaud for the lead, and held onto it before James Jakes took the lead briefly. Jakes was the only Honda driver to lead the race at some point in the first half of it.
Dixon took the lead after Jakes’ short time at top.
Defending race champion Ed Carpenter retired midway through it with an engine issue. Carpenter’s teammate, Josef Newgarden, also had his way cut short with an engine issue.
But single-file racing dominated once again, making some wonder if there is anything IndyCar can do to make the Texas races more entertaining in the future.
They tried to this year by altering their superspeedway aero kits. One change was aimed at preventing lift when a car is traveling backward at high speed during an accident to try to eliminate the airborne wrecks the series saw at the Indianapolis 500.
That change seemed to work, as every car stayed earthbound.
The other, however, didn’t produce the desired results. They adjusted the degree of the rear wing angle to increase the overall downforce with the hope that it helped enhance the overall racing, which simply didn’t happen.
This report includes material from The Associated Press and staff writer Drew Davison.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760