Dixon wins Houston Race 1, closes to within 8 points of Castroneves

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Scott Dixon has taken a decisive victory, the 33rd of his career, in the 17th round of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season, in Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader weekend.

With shifting issues affecting Helio Castroneves, and the Team Penske driver finishing where he started in 18th, Dixon closes to within 8 points of him in the championship chase, unofficially.

The race ended under yellow – the fourth time this season this has happened – after Mike Conway’s car stalled following contact at Turn 9. He wasn’t quite in a position to restart and the fifth yellow of the race was called to halt any remaining passes.

In second was Simona de Silvestro, scoring her first career IndyCar podium in second place for KV Racing Technology. Justin Wilson captured his fourth podium of the season for Dale Coyne Racing in third.

Baltimore’s first and second place finishers, Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden, have finished fourth and fifth on this occasion.

The rest of the top 10 included Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammates James Jakes and Graham Rahal, the latter of whom made an excellent charge from 24th and last on the grid, Sebastien Bourdais, E.J. Viso and Luca Filippi.

Filippi’s result is the first top-10 of his career and featured some excellent passing maneuvers.

Unofficial points are Castroneves 513, Dixon 508, Pagenaud 463, Marco Andretti 447 and Ryan Hunter-Reay 437. Wilson, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, James Hinchcliffe and Charlie Kimball round out the top 10.

Race 2 begins with coverage at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN and a projected green flag roughly a half hour later.

More to follow.