IndyCar Series 2012
Having his best season start since his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship in 2003, Scott Dixon finished second Sunday at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. It was the second consecutive podium finish for the Honda-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver, following on the heels of his runner-up result last weekend at the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Starting on the inside of the second row, in third, Dixon moved into the lead following the first round of scheduled pit stops, then controlled the middle third of the race, while many fierce battles for position raged behind him. But Dixon’s lead disappeared on lap 65, when he was delayed by slower cars while entering and leaving the pits for his final stop, handing the lead to eventual winner Will Power.
Prior to the start of today’s 90-lap contest, Tom Ogata from San Francisco, California, received the ride of his life – as passenger in the Honda two-seat IndyCar driven by former Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk – during the pace laps just prior to the green flag. Ogata won his ride by entering Honda’s “Fastest Seat in Sports” contest at www.shophonda.com.
Taking the checkers just over three seconds behind Power, Dixon still closed to within two points of early-season drivers’ championship leader Helio Castroneves, and was the first of three Honda-powered drivers in the top five.
Graham Rahal had his first top-five finish of 2012, and came close to his first podium finish of the year, as he hounded eventual third-place finisher Castroneves for the final 15 laps.
Simon Pagenaud also improved on his sixth-place finish last week in St. Petersburg, climbing through the field in his Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda Dallara, from 10th at the start to fifth at the checkers. Mike Conway recovered from a minor “off” just after the final race restart on Lap 74 to finish seventh for A.J. Foyt Racing; while a last-lap pass of Marco Andretti saw three-time defending series champion Dario Franchitti round out the top-10 finishers for Honda today.
After back-to-back races in the Southeast to open the 2012 season, the IZOD IndyCar Series now goes cross-country, continuing in two weeks with the April 15 Grand Prix of Long Beach in Southern California.
|1||Will Power (Team Penske)|
|2||Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi)|
|3||Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)|
|4||Graham Rahal (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|5||Simon Pagenaud-R (Sam Schmidt Motorsports)|
|6||James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)|
|7||Mike Conway (A.J. Foyt Racing)|
|8||Rubens Barrichello (KV Racing Technology)|
|9||Sebastien Bourdais (Lotus Dragon Racing)|
|10||Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi)|
|16||James Jakes (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|17||Josef Newgarden-R (Sarah Fisher Hartman)|
|19||Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|22||Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)|
|23||Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing)|