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Dixon overcomes ankle injury to finish second in Detroit 1

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Even though he walked from it, Scott Dixon’s terrifying crash at last week’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil left him with a painful left ankle injury that had him in a walking boot later in the day. He subsequently spent the next few days on crutches while the injury healed, and while his ability to race at this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear was never in doubt, the task at hand seemed all the more daunting.

Though the back stretch of the Belle Isle street circuit had been smoothed over, the track remained notoriously bumpy, like all street circuits. And given that Dixon is a left-foot braker, it seemed like it would be a punishing day for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver.

However, he endured the pain, which he previously explained only occurred when he lifted his foot off the brake pedal, to run a very strong race to finish second. Although he was never able to challenge race winner Graham Rahal, Dixon’s run to second was no less impressive given his injury.

“It’s been good to be back in a car,” said Dixon, who then credited the No. 9 Camping World Honda team for their efforts in building a new chassis. “Huge credit to the Camping World crew. They’ve had a rough week obviously having to build a new car. Everybody at Chip Ganassi for pitching in.”

Dixon added that the injury does make things difficult for him behind the wheel and that he was glad to have a good handling car, which made coping with things easier.

“You know, the foot’s not great, but it’s working. So it’s just hard to get the last part out of the car and the performance out of it. Very lucky that everybody in the Chip Ganassi side and the Camping World crew have given me a good car for today.

Race 2 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear rolls of tomorrow at 3:30 ET.

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Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.