MADISON, Ill., Aug. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Scott Dixon vaulted into the lead following the final round of pit stops in today’s opening round in the doubleheader Bommarito Auto Group 500 race weekend, then held off a charging Takuma Sato to score Honda’s sixth NTT INDYCAR SERIES race victory of the season.
The win is Dixon’s fourth in eight races this season, and the 50th of his career, leading all active drivers. Honda, with six wins in 2020, now leads the INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship by 101 points over rival Chevrolet (688-579); while Dixon opens up a 117-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship, with 386 points to 269 for the second-ranked Josef Newgarden.
Today’s 200-lap contest started on a rough note, with three Honda drivers – Alexander Rossi, Zach Veach and Marco Andretti – among those eliminated in a multi-car crash just moments after race start.
After starting third, Dixon kept the leaders in sight throughout the first two-thirds of the race on the 1.25-mile oval. Sato meanwhile, fell back to midfield in the early stages, but made improvements to the handling of his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda during each pit stop, and returned to contention for the win in the closing stages.
During the final round of pit stops on Lap 177, Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing team enabled him to leapfrog O’Ward for the lead, with Sato emerging in third. Sato then executed a thrilling outside pass of O’Ward for second on Lap 179 and began his chase of Dixon for the victory. At the checkers, Dixon held on for the win by the narrow margin of just 14 hundredths of a second.
Behind the lead trio at the finish, Colton Herta continued his run of consistent results this year, ending the day fourth, with Markus Ericsson making it four Honda drivers in the top five at the checkers.
Today’s race was the opening round of a doubleheader NTT INDYCAR SERIES weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Tomorrow’s 200-lap finale starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on the NBC Sports Network.
Honda Racing social media content and videos from WWT Raceway is available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD). Produced by the CoForce Digital Media, YouTube videos can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 3rd, finished 1st; scores his 50th career Indy car victory, his 4th and Honda’s 6th win of 2020; leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship by 117 points after 8 races: «I can’t thank the PNC Bank crew enough. It was a superb race all day. I knew [Takuma] Sato was going to be strong at the end, but I didn’t realize how strong he was coming. We were kind of going into a reserve mode, looking after the engine, and he was there with a head of steam. [the margin of victory was just 0.1404 seconds] I am just so happy for this team. Last week at Indianapolis [when he finished second to Sato] was a bit of a bummer. So, it was nice to get a win. Fifty career-wins – that sounds awesome. We’ve got to keep on truckin’ and get a few more. But I can’t thank Honda and HPD enough. I’m proud to be powered by them. What they’ve done, especially this year, is just phenomenal, and how quick their cars have been. This is just awesome.»
Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) Indianapolis 500 winner last weekend, started 5th, finished 2nd: «Obviously, the team did a fantastic job. From last week [winning at Indianapolis], we carried a lot of momentum. We lost some places at the beginning of the race. I wasn’t entirely comfortable in the car. But we made improvements to the car at every [pit] stop, and by the end were strong. My Abeam car was phenomenal, and the Honda power was exceptional, again. Big congrats to Ganassi and [Scott] Dixon. Fantastic win for them.»
Allen Miller (Race Team Principal, Honda Performance Development) on Saturday’s Honda win at WWT Raceway, Honda’s 6th win in 8 races this season: «Today’s final 50 laps looked like a continuation of last weekend’s Indianapolis 500, with Scott [Dixon] and Takuma [Sato] once more fighting for the victory. Congratulations to Scott on his milestone 50th career Indy car victory, to Chip Ganassi Racing for their fifth win in eight races this season and to Takuma for a well-earned podium result following his win last week at Indy. This has been an incredible season for Honda and everyone at Honda Performance Development should be proud of these achievements.»
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 1
Circuit: World Wide Technology Raceway (1.25-mile oval) Madison, Illinois
2019 Winner: Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) 136.874 mph average
Weather: Overcast, humid, windy, 82 degrees F
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SOURCE Honda Racing/HPD