BELLE ISLE, Mich – Scott Dixon isn’t called the “Ice Man” for no reason. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver made a rare mistake on Saturday when he crashed all by himself in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. Dixon, was running third at the time when he got into the Turn 6 tire barriers on Lap 24. He’d finish last in his No. 9 Honda. His first DNF since Texas in 2017.
On Sunday, Dixon did the exact reverse scenario. When the championship favorites all had problems, there the “Ice Man” was cool, calm and collective and earning his 45th career NTT IndyCar Series victory.
24 Hours after Dixon said he locked himself in his bus and sulked after a rare mistake, he was celebrating in the fountain after a victory.
That’s why he’s called that nickname.
Dixon, left the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 11 six points behind Josef Newgarden for the points lead. He had just scored his third runner-up in five tries this season and had four podiums overall in 2019.
Then, double points happened to the Indy 500. Dixon, struggled in starting a career worst 18th and finished 17th. He fell from six points down to 47. After that incident on Saturday, Dixon lost most points and trailed Newgarden by 92. That’s a loss of 86 points in two races.
On Sunday, when Newgarden, Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe all made contact with one another heading into Turn 3, Dixon was left celebrating.
Hinchcliffe tried to defend his position when exiting the pits on Lap 32. He came out ahead of Newgarden and Rossi and knew that if he could hold them off,t hen he could win.
But, Newgarden and Rossi knew that too. They attacked. Hinchcliffe and Newgarden ended up in the tire barriers, Rossi half spun but continued on.
Still, Rossi could only get to fifth in his No. 27 Honda while Newgarden was left with a 19th place run. Even Simon Pagenaud had his troubles when he was punted by Tony Kanaan following an opening lap crash in the same corner. He’d have to go behind the wall for repairs on his No. 22 Chevrolet and end up finishing 17th.
That opened the door for Dixon to make up 40 points and now trail Newgarden by 52 points leaving Belle Isle.
He’ll take it.
Sunday was Dixon’s third podium in four tries on street courses in 2019. With him winning at Texas last year, this bodes well for him making another Scott Dixon run at the championship.
Rookie Marcus Ericsson brought his No. 7 Honda home third for his first career podium. Will Power rebounded from his car literally stalling on the backstretch and almost being lapped to finish third in his No. 12 Chevrolet.
Andretti Autosport took spots 4-5-6 with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Rossi and Marco Andrett finishing in those spots respectively.
Honda, made up for a race that was stolen from them yesterday. They had nine of the top 10 finishers after scoring four of the top five spots on Saturday. This win was their fifth in the last six tries in Chevrolet’s backyard.
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2 Results
7 Ericsson R
19 Ferrucci R
31 O’Ward R
88 Herta R
10 Rosenqvist R OUT
22 Pagenaud -12
5 Hinchcliffe OUT
2 Newgarden -21
4 Leist OUT
21 Pigot OUT
14 Kanaan OUT