IndyCar: Dixon up front halfway at Long Beach


LONG BEACH, Calif. – At his personal house of horrors, Scott Dixon is halfway to an elusive win – or podium, even – at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (LIVE on NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra). Forty laps are complete in the 80-lap race.

Dixon started third but got up to second off the line behind polesitter Helio Castroneves, with the Team Penske driver pacing the opening stint until the first round of pit stops.

Dixon got ahead of him on the sequence, as most of the leaders pitted to switch from Firestone’s red alternate tires to the primary blacks.

Castroneves was second ahead of two of his teammates, Simon Pagenaud and Juan Pablo Montoya. Josef Newgarden completed the top five, where he’s run throughout the race.

The lone caution of the race to date flew on Lap 4 for debris on track at Turn 9 when Gabby Chaves and Jack Hawksworth made contact at the corner entry. A piece of debris ran offline.

There was also additional drama on the pit sequence when both Luca Filippi and Will Power stopped at pit in. Power has not made the strides many expected after starting 18th and having lost a couple laps, runs 21st at the halfway mark.

Hawksworth led briefly as the leaders pitted on an off-sequence pit strategy – as he did at St. Petersburg – but has fallen well outside the top 10 with his next stop.

Stefano Coletti lost multiple laps in the pits with a gearbox issue.

Of note, Sebastian Saavedra runs 13th and Conor Daly 18th in their first starts of the season. Saavedra’s last IndyCar start came at Auto Club Speedway last August; Daly is making his second career start and first since the 2013 Indianapolis 500.