Scott Dixon celebrated his 27th birthday in style on Sunday by winning on the Indycar series first visit to the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, beating championship leader Dario Franchitti by 2.6 seconds. This is Dixon’s third straight win after victories at Watkins Glen and Nashville in recent weeks.
For Franchitti it meant another cut in his points lead, and Dixon is now only 24 points behind, and is carrying the momentum into the next race at Michigan International Speedway.
Dixon only started 6th on the grid, and struggled in practice, not ever being really happy with the handling of his car. A first corner accident between Andretti Green teammates Danica Patrick, Tony Kannan and Marco Andretti saw Danica leaving the track, while Kannan spun, knocking Andretti up into the air into another rollover, the second for Andretti after crashing and rolling over at Indianapolis earlier in the season.
With all this action at the first corner, Dixon slipped through to 2nd, behind pole sitter Helio Castroneves. Franchitti was the only Andretti Green car not to be involved in the accident, and he emerged in 4th place behind Darren Manning, and in front of Sam Hornish Jr.
After the safety car returned to the pits the race settled down, and positions remained the same until the first pitstop where Dixon managed to stay out a few extra laps over Castroneves, and managed to take the lead from the Brazillian. From there Dixon set about building a lead, extending it to 4 seconds by the time the caution came out on lap 50 for Sam Hornish Jr who had spun into the tire barrier. The resulting pitstops left Kannan and Scott Sharp out front as they did not pit, with Castronevees taking the opportunity to short fill and get back his track position over dixon, who was followed by Franchitti.
Kannan led for another 10 laps before he had to pit, leaving Castroneves back in front, however he went to the pit on lap 69, handing over the lead to Dixon once again. Dixon stretched his fuel mileage once again, and managed to leapfrog Castroneves to take the lead after his stop, with Franchitti doing the same, not far behind Dixon. During the final run to the flag the positions remained the same with Dixon taking the win, Franchitti 2nd and Castroneves 3rd.