Polesitter Scott Dixon wins IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-04 18:05:30-04
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) -- Watkins Glen International is a special place for Scott Dixon. He showed why again Sunday.
Fastest in every practice and fastest in qualifying, Dixon won the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen with a dominant drive, leading all but 10 of the 60 laps around the 11-turn, 3.37-mile natural terrain layout.
"We've had some dominant wins like this on ovals," Dixon said after his 40th victory overall moved him alone into fourth place on the career list. "But I think to lead all three practices, qualify on the pole, and then win the race, it was definitely a very dominant weekend."
The New Zealander also won for the second time this season and fourth time at The Glen to tie NASCAR's Jeff Gordon for second place in track history behind Tony Stewart's five.
Josef Newgarden was second, followed by Helio Castroneves, Conor Daly, and Sebastien Bourdais.
Simon Pagenaud finished seventh and increased his lead over Will Power to 43 points standings with one race remaining in the season. Pagenaud was running fifth with 10 laps left, but had to back off to save fuel in the closing laps.
Power crashed just past the midpoint of the race and finished 20th.  He was not permitted to return to the race because of concussion symptoms.
The two Penske drivers are the only ones still in contention for the title.
It was the first IndyCar race at The Glen since Power won from the pole in 2010.
When the series returned to the historic road course in upstate New York's wine country in 2005, Dixon won the first three races, his victory that first year snapping a 40-race winless streak.
Dixon won the pole Saturday with a speed of over 147 mph and a record-shattering time that eclipsed the previous record by nearly six seconds on the track's new pavement.
In Sunday morning's 30-minute warmup, the New Zealander practiced his starts and nearly lost it once. Once the green flag dropped, he was flawless in his No. 9 for Chip Ganassi Racing, consistently opening big leads and saving enough fuel over the final laps to win by 16.5 seconds in a flawless performance both on the track and in the pits.
Dixon announced after the race that he was donating his winnings to the family of the late Justin Wilson, who died last August after being struck in the head by debris from a crash in an IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway.
Power's drive toward the championship suffered a damaging blow when his No. 12 Team Penske Chevy made contact with Charlie Kimball on lap 39 coming out of the high-speed esses. Kimball hit Power's left rear tire in the narrow section of the track at the top of the hill. He got a huge run on the outside and made contact, sending Power hard into the barrier and bringing out a caution as debris scattered all over the track.
Other things to know about the IndyCar race at Watkins Glen International:
WHO'S HOT: Newgarden has four top-four finishes in the last eight races and might have had another. He was leading at Texas in June when he crashed while pitting. The race was postponed and finished last week, but IndyCar ruled that he could not rejoin that race.
WHO'S NOT: Ryan Hunter-Reay finished 14th for Andretti Autosport as his late-season slump continued. Aside from a solid third-place run at Pocono two weeks ago, he's finished no better than 12th in the last six races after reeling off a seventh, third and fourth in consecutive weeks.
UP NEXT: Sonoma Raceway Sept. 18. Dixon is the defending race winner.