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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Dixon wins chaotic season finale

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The six-time champion stored his head when many round him misplaced theirs, beating Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske) and his champion team-mate Alex Palou after a race punctuated by a excessive quantity warning intervals attributable to a sequence of wildly over-optimistic lunges and collisions that had a particular end-of-term really feel.

Poleman Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren) led the 27-car subject to inexperienced on his remaining begin with the group, earlier than Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) clipped McLaughlin within the battle for second on the Andretti Hairpin, triggering a multi-car collision additional again between Marcus Armstrong (Chip Ganassi Racing) and RLL duo Juri Vips and Graham Rahal that took out Penske’s Josef Newgarden – who was pinballed a number of instances into the gravel.

“Incorrect place, flawed time there,” stated Rahal. “We hit Juri, we hit Josef – I advised the medical group I’ve seen extra of them than I’ve seen my spouse this 12 months.”

Dixon made a late engine change, which dropped him to 11th, however he smacked Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing) on the exit of Flip 2. Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti) additionally suffered injury.

On the restart on lap seven, Rosenqvist led Palou, Will Power (Penske), Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren) and Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport, who appeared to leap the preliminary begin however wasn’t known as for it).

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Palou grabbed the lead on the finish of that lap, barging Rosenqvist down to 3rd behind Energy – who was the one automobile on alternate tyres within the prime 10.

The race quickly went yellow once more, nevertheless, when Newgarden spun on his personal into the wall on the exit of Flip 4.

On the restart on lap 12, Rosenqvist shoved his well beyond Energy at Flip 2 and took O’Ward with him. Energy clung to fourth, as Dixon and Lundgaard have been pinged for contact on the opening lap and served drive-through penalties.

Herta held fifth from Romain Grosjean (Andretti), with Agustin Canapino (Juncos Hollinger Racing) as much as seventh from 19th on the grid. McLaughlin recovered in 12th after his journey to the gravel and removed his alternate rubber.

Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, crash

Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Palou led Rosenqvist by 9s by one quarter distance, with O’Ward in third nicely away from a battling Energy and Herta.

Palou then endured a giant scare when Helio Castroneves – in his remaining full-time IndyCar race for Meyer Shank Racing – spun at Flip 2, then continued and half spun at Flip 3, the place he rejoined throughout the bows of the race chief.

Rosenqvist pitted from second for alternates on lap 28, with O’Ward in a lap later and sticking with major tyres.

Rosenqvist was then punted right into a spin at Flip 2 by Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi), slicing his tyre, which prompted a second spin into the gravel at Flip 3, and introduced out one other warning.

Palou dived into the pits, rejoining on one other set of primaries, forward of Energy. Herta needed to take emergency service and tumbled all the way down to 18th.

An try at a restart on lap 27 failed when Benjamin Pedersen (AJ Foyt Racing) was punted by Energy and clipped Callum Ilott (JHR) right into a spin too. Moments later, Santino Ferrucci’s Foyt automobile received despatched right into a wild second at Flip 1 by a punt from McLaughlin, who wanted a brand new entrance wing.

The race restarted on lap 42 with Palou main O’Ward, Grosjean and Canapino, after Lundgaard (11th) and Dixon (13th) pitted. Grosjean ran extensive on the exit of Flip 2, coughing up third to Canapino and fourth to David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing), earlier than Grosjean regained fourth by divebombing Malukas on the The Corkscrew.

O’Ward pitted on lap 58, seconds earlier than Malukas clashed with Andretti’s Devlin DeFrancesco at Flip 3, inflicting one other warning. That proved disastrous for Palou, who pitted underneath yellow and fell from the lead again to fifteenth.

One other calamitous restart try led to Ferrucci flying by the air over the again of Palou and into the gravel on the remaining nook and a sixth warning. Tom Blomqvist (MSR) was additionally pressured to a halt when he linked with DeFrancesco.

That led to extra pitstops and a race off pitlane between Dixon and team-mate Armstrong that Dixon received.

The following abysmal restart try was the identical story with totally different gamers: Ericsson linked with team-mate Armstrong, after the Kiwi had been clipped right into a spin by Pedersen.

O’Ward led on the restart with 23 laps to go, forward of Grosjean, DeFrancesco, Canapino, Ilott (who’d spun within the pit entry not too many excursions in the past), Palou and Dixon.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Picture by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Grosjean handed O’Ward into Flip 2 to hit the entrance, whereas Palou had a horrible exit from the ultimate flip, permitting Dixon to rocket as much as third, adopted by by McLaughlin.

A few laps later, the yellow flew once more as Castroneves took out a gearbox-troubled Herta at Flip 3. Grosjean and O’Ward pitted underneath yellow, dropping to the mid-teens, selling Dixon to the lead from McLaughlin, Ilott and Palou.

It restarted with 17 laps to go, with Dixon going early and spreading the sphere out, finally claiming the win.

Energy and Rossi handed Canapino, who was carrying entrance wing injury, to run fifth and sixth respectively.

Palou handed Ilott for third with 12 laps remaining, and Energy demoted him additional with 4 laps to go after he went off at Flip 9 – Ilott ultimately ending fifth.

Lundgaard, Armstrong, O’Ward and Ryan Hunter-Reay additionally overtook the hamstrung Canapino, who tumbled down the order, to fill the highest 10 locations. Lundgaard then grabbed sixth from Rossi on the penultimate nook.

Race outcome:

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