Dixon outlasts field at Sonoma after leaders falter

Dixon outlasts field at Sonoma after leaders falter

25 August 2014 – Scott Dixon came from third on the grid to outlast the field in the closing laps to win the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday. With Graham Rahal and Mike Conway running out of fuel in their final stints, Dixon patiently waited to inherit the lead before challenging Conway up the hill into Turn 2, then never looking back.

The race originally looked like it was Will Power's to lose with the Australian leading most of the first 40 laps, but as strategies diverged and his Penske machine fell back into the pack, an untimely spin at the hairpin ruined his chances of a win. Instead, he would fall back more than seven spots with over half of the race remaining.

His championship rival Helio Castroneves fared no better, though, as he was caught up in a first lap incident when the field bunched up heading into the second turn. Several other cars and he ended up making contact, forcing the Brazilian into the pits for a nose change way ahead of his scheduled pit stop time. The early deficit proved too difficult to overcome, and more contact later in the race would relegate him to P18.

With Helio finishing so far back, Power (who finished in tenth) now takes a 51-point lead into the final race of the year next week at Fontana. The final leg of the IndyCar Triple Crown, the MAVTV 500 is worth double points, meaning 104 points are still available. This also means that only three drivers are still mathematically in contention for the title – Power, Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud, who finished third on Sunday but still trails Power by 81 points.

Takuma Sato finished a season-high fourth on the day ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya, Josef Newgarden (who started second), rookie Mikhail Aleshin, Marco Andretti, Justin Wilson and Power.

Up front, the differing pit strategies allowed Mike Conway and Tony Kanaan to lead the field, but after a while Graham Rahal found his way to the front, chasing Conway with a handful of laps remaining.  When the young American challenged for the lead, Conway's Sarah Fisher Hartman team told him not to fight it since they believed Rahal would be short on fuel anyway.

It turns out they were right, but it didn't end up mattering.  Rahal soon gapped the field but was forced to pit for more petrol with just four laps to go. Team owner Bobby Rahal noted on the radio that they had 'swung for the fences' but didn't quite make it.

Conway charged ahead, but his fuel situation wasn't much better. As he fell into the grasps of Dixon, Conway went into fuel saving mode, meaning his race was run. With a couple of turns to go and the chequered flag in sight, Conway's engine went dry, and cars began to stream past. The Briton would just coast across the line before stopping but not before falling to P14.

In the meantime, Dixon took the lead with confidence, knowing he had made his penultimate stint last a lap longer than his competition. He crossed the line 1.1359s ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay to win his 35th career IndyCar race, tying him for fifth with Bobby Unser on the all-time wins list.

In the end, nearly a quarter of the field would run out of fuel either on the last lap or on the cooldown lap, but Dixon had just enough to do celebratory donuts after crossing the line. With his victory, the Kiwi also becomes the only driver ever to complete every lap in the ten IndyCar races at Sonoma.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 29 May 2017

  2. Video of the Day: Best commute in F1? 05:35

    Video of the Day: Best commute in F1?

    Red Bull documents its journey to work in Monaco, featuring Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

    F1
  3. 03:32

    Championship standings after Monaco

    F1
  4. Sunday 28 May 2017

  5. 21:25

    Latest IndyCar photos: 2017 Indy 500

    Indy
  6. Alonso hails performance despite DNF 21:23

    Alonso hails performance despite DNF

    Fernando Alonso described his Indy 500 experience as "one of the best" of his career and revelled in his performance, despite…

    Indy
  7. Sato wins thriller, Alonso's engine fails 21:14

    Sato wins thriller, Alonso's engine fails

    Takuma Sato held off a charging Hélio Castroneves in an 11-lap shootout to win the 101st Indianapolis 500, as Fernando Alonso's…

    Indy
  8. Video: Scott Dixon's massive smash 18:57

    Video: Scott Dixon's massive smash

    Scott Dixon survives a horrific crash at the Indy500 after colliding with Jay Howard.

    Indy
  9. 18:38

    Follow GPUpdate on Instagram in 2017!

    F1
  10. 18:36

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday in Monaco

    F1
  11. Verstappen frustrated to miss podium 17:36

    Verstappen frustrated to miss podium

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has expressed his frustration after missing out on a potential podium finish in Sunday…

    F1
  12. Bottas hopes Monaco is 'worst weekend' 17:16

    Bottas hopes Monaco is 'worst weekend'

    Valtteri Bottas says he hopes Monaco proves to be Mercedes' "worst weekend" of the season, as neither he nor team-mate Lewis…

    F1
  13. Button gets grid penalty for Wehrlein clash 17:08

    Button gets grid penalty for Wehrlein clash

    McLaren-Honda driver Jenson Button has been handed a seemingly academic grid penalty in the wake of his collision with Sauber's…

    F1
  14. 17:00

    Follow the 2017 Indianapolis 500 live!

    Indy
  15. Hamilton feels he managed race 'nicely' 16:46

    Hamilton feels he managed race 'nicely'

    Lewis Hamilton feels that he managed his Monaco Grand Prix drive "as nicely and professionally as I could" after he recovered…

    F1
  16. Wehrlein set for scans after 'scary' crash 16:18

    Wehrlein set for scans after 'scary' crash

    Pascal Wehrlein has revealed that he will need to undergo scans following a "scary" collision with Jenson Button during Sunday…

    F1
  17. Räikkönen: Strategy 'impossible' to work out 15:55

    Räikkönen: Strategy 'impossible' to work out

    Kimi Räikkönen says he is struggling to work out the timing of his pit-stop during the Monaco Grand Prix, after he came out in…

    F1
  18. Ricciardo thrilled by recovery to podium 15:37

    Ricciardo thrilled by recovery to podium

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo expressed delight at recovering to the podium positions at the Monaco Grand Prix, after extending…

    F1
  19. Vettel: Overcut on Räikkönen not planned 15:27

    Vettel: Overcut on Räikkönen not planned

    Sebastian Vettel insists Ferrari's strategy to run him longer than team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was not planned, as he jumped his…

    F1
  20. 14:52

    In full: Monaco Grand Prix race result

    F1
  21. Vettel overhauls Räikkönen for Monaco win 14:51

    Vettel overhauls Räikkönen for Monaco win

    Sebastian Vettel exploited strategy to clear Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen during the sole pit-stops and claim victory in…

    F1
  22. 12:35

    Follow the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix live!

    F1
  23. Renault drivers to race in Star Wars suits 12:16

    Renault drivers to race in Star Wars suits

    Renault drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer will race with Star Wars-themed suits in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, to…

    F1
  24. 12:02

    Starting grid for the Monaco Grand Prix

    F1
  25. Pirelli says one-stop race 'clearly optimal' 11:12

    Pirelli says one-stop race 'clearly optimal'

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli says a one-stop approach to the Monaco Grand Prix is "clearly the optimal strategy", with its…

    F1
  26. Pérez: Focus needed after strong qualifying 10:16

    Pérez: Focus needed after strong qualifying

    Sergio Pérez says he is "not going to make any predictions" for the Monaco Grand Prix and insists he and Force India must stay…

    F1
  27. Button to start Monaco GP from pit lane 09:58

    Button to start Monaco GP from pit lane

    Jenson Button will start Sunday afternoon's Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane, with McLaren-Honda opting to change the set-up…

    F1
  28. In photos: Formula 1's longest pole droughts 09:28

    In photos: Formula 1's longest pole droughts

    Kimi Räikkönen ended his almost nine-year pole drought by clocking the quickest time during qualifying for the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  29. Button: Formula 1 going in right direction 09:12

    Button: Formula 1 going in right direction

    Jenson Button has praised the direction Formula 1 has taken with 2017's technical regulations, describing the new, wider cars as…

    F1
  30. Verstappen looks to end Monaco 'curse' 09:02

    Verstappen looks to end Monaco 'curse'

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen says he hopes to break his Monaco "curse" on Sunday and believes a podium position is within…

    F1
  31. Preview: 101st Indianapolis 500 beckons... 08:52

    Preview: 101st Indianapolis 500 beckons...

    On Sunday, the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500, will be staged, with most of the attention on double Formula…

    Indy
  32. Wolff: Race 'damage limitation' for Hamilton 08:32

    Wolff: Race 'damage limitation' for Hamilton

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckons the Monaco Grand Prix will be a case of "damage limitation" for Lewis Hamilton, who is set to…

    F1
  33. Overview: Formula 1 qualifying battles 06:48

    Overview: Formula 1 qualifying battles

    As often highlighted: a Formula 1 driver's main reference point is their team-mate. Although race results and the final…

    F1
  34. Video of the Day: Monaco's banned poster 05:32

    Video of the Day: Monaco's banned poster

    At this year's Monaco Grand Prix, the infamous Martini Girl billboard will return, going from the road to the sky at Monaco…

    F1
  35. Saturday 27 May 2017

  36. 17:22

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Monaco

    F1
  37. Sainz Jr. surprised by qualifying result 17:20

    Sainz Jr. surprised by qualifying result

    Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr. has admitted that he did not expect to finish the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying hour as the…

    F1
  38. 17:04

    Revised starting grid for the Monaco GP

    F1
  39. Ocon feels FP3 shunt hurt prospects 16:57

    Ocon feels FP3 shunt hurt prospects

    Esteban Ocon believes his crash during the closing stages of third practice in Monaco hindered his prospects in qualifying, as…

    F1
  40. Button 'loving' stand-in F1 appearance 16:52

    Button 'loving' stand-in F1 appearance

    Jenson Button says he is "loving" his brief return to Formula 1 after he reached Q3 and qualified ninth for the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  41. Vandoorne upbeat despite Q2 crash 16:48

    Vandoorne upbeat despite Q2 crash

    Stoffel Vandoorne says he is upbeat over his and McLaren-Honda's progress, despite his qualifying session in Monaco coming to a…

    F1
  42. De Vries heads Rapax 1-2 for maiden F2 win 16:21

    De Vries heads Rapax 1-2 for maiden F2 win

    McLaren-backed Nyck de Vries claimed his first Formula 2 win, leading Rapax team-mate Johnny Cecotto Jr. for a 1-2 in the Monaco…

    F2
  43. Ricciardo critical of 'pretty obvious mistake' 15:49

    Ricciardo critical of 'pretty obvious mistake'

    Daniel Ricciardo says Red Bull made a "pretty obvious mistake" regarding the timing of his final Q3 run, after he qualified in…

    F1
more news