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'Dixie' Dixon Wins Grand Prix at Indy , Rahal and O'Ward Share Podium

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon set the quickest lap time in final practice for the IndyCar Series element of the NASCAR crossover event around the Indianapolis Road Course on Friday afternoon and then raced on to win the Gallagher Grand Prix on Saturday.

Graham Rahal came in second after earning a pole position for the first time in six years, and teammate Christian Lundgaard was beside him on the front row on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile layout. The 85-lap race covers 207.32 miles. Josef Newgarden, who was second place in the IndyCar points standings to Alex Palou, was assessed a 6-position grid penalty Saturday morning for making an unapproved engine change.

IndyStar reported, "Pato O'Ward completes the podium, for third, followed by Christian Lundgaard fourth and Alexander Rossi fifth.

Watch the post-race interview:

Rahal's season at IMS has been filled with lows and highs. He failed to qualified for the Indianapolis 500 in May, but got into the field when he replaced Stefan Wilson, who suffered a back injury in a post-qualifying crash. He scores his season-best finish.

Rahal said after the race that he was bummed at that he hadn't pulled it off and won.

It was Dixon's day to win:

Road and Track described the race as one that started out hard for Dixon:

"Today's 318th consecutive start made Scott Dixon the all-time leader in consecutive IndyCar starts. That looked like it would be the only good thing Dixon could take home from today's race after a lap one spin, but Dixon instead strung together a masterful race-long drive to secure a shocking win by less than a second.

Dixon's race went south immediately. He had moved up into the top ten on a quick start, but it went south in turn seven when teammate and general man of the moment Alex Palou moved to make a four-wide move on a few cars in front of Dixon. Palou was forced to lift out, causing a chain reaction that spun both Dixon and a third Chip Ganassi Racing driver, Marcus Armstrong. Dixon was able to continue without damage, but Armstrong was struck at low speeds by both Josef Newgarden and Romain Grosjean as the field-spanning crash continued.

The timing of the yellow meant that Dixon and a few other drivers had the chance to stop during the first caution without a major penalty.

Those other drivers chose to continue on the primary strategy, but not Dixon. He and his team chose to instead start saving fuel immediately, a strategy they held through every stint as Dixon would go on to cut an entire stop under green on the rest of the leaders. With 20 to go, he found himself with three fewer laps of fuel and a five second lead on a surging Graham Rahal.

Rahal cut the lead slowly at first, then started slicing into it significantly in the closing laps as the pair worked through lapped traffic. He came within a second in the final handful of laps, but Dixon was eventually freed to stop saving fuel and would eventually pull a small margin to win by just half a second."

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