With only one shot, Dixon gives Ganassi fourth Indy 500 pole

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Instead of two days and multiple sessions to put his best lead foot forward for the Indianapolis 500 pole, Scott Dixon had four laps and a long wait.

At the end of it, Scott Dixon is “starting in the right place.”

A four-lap average of 226.760 mph put Dixon on the pole of the 99th Indianapolis 500, giving him his first pole in a Verizon IndyCar Series race since Iowa last year. It is his second Indy 500 pole after earning it in 2008 and going on to claim the Indy 500 win.

“Just so proud of everyone at Team Target, everybody that works so hard to get the speed out of this car,” Dixon told ESPN. “It was definitely a tough day. I’m stoked. Extremely happy that we’re on the pole. I wasn’t sure, since we went so early, that it was going to stick.

The achievement became official roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes after he made his run around the 2.5-mile track.

The celebration began to build when everyone realized his Chip Ganassi teammate, Sage Karam, wouldn’t have enough to knock him down a peg.

Even more impressive is that it came after INDYCAR mandated all teams would race in the aero trim they would qualify with.

“I haven’t been in that situation before,” Dixon said. “I can’t exactly remember how 2008 played out. I don’t think we went that early. Knowing that we lost the Fast Nine…there’s no second chance, that was it. You had a 30 minute practice to combine your best effort with the new configuration that we had.”

Toward the end of the session, Dixon watched the remaining car’s qualifying attempts from pit road. But for some time he watched from the garage with teammate Tony Kanaan.

“TK was some good humor back in the truck as we were watching some of the other competitors go,” Dixon said.

The pole also puts an end to the domination of the Verizon P1 Award by Team Penske at eight races, dating back to last year at Milwaukee.

“My hat’s off to Roger Penske and his team,” Ganassi told ESPN. “They keep us honest. When you beat them, you’ve done something. This (track) will tell you that.”

Ganassi had four chances at the pole, with Dixon, Kanaan (fourth), Charlie Kimball (14th) and Karam (23rd).

The team owner didn’t seem concerned about how fast Dixon would be after the IndyCar’s mandate for teams to qualify in race trim.

“We felt we had a pretty good car prior to that,” Ganassi said. “Going backwards is a lot easier than going forward.”

Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead


With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.

In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list