Dixon leads, but passing difficult through first half at Phoenix

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AVONDALE, Ariz. – Two right front flat tires for Team Penske have taken the thus far dominant pairing of Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya out of the lead and dropped them to nearly the end of the 22-car field in tonight’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, Round 2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season (LIVE on NBCSN).

The respective issues for Castroneves on Lap 40 and Montoya just before Lap 100 left two Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in the lead, with Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan up front.

The passing star behind them has been Ryan Hunter-Reay, who started 12th and was up to seventh in the opening five laps, and ran as high as third before the second pit stop sequence.

But Hunter-Reay’s charge was halted when Andretti Autosport teammate Carlos Munoz stopped on course on Lap 120 going into Turn 1, right in the middle of the sequence. It caught Hunter-Reay and several others one or more laps down who had just made a stop.

Just nine cars were on the lead lap at the halfway mark, with Dixon leading the returning Will Power, Kanaan, Ed Carpenter and Charlie Kimball in the top five.

The remaining lead lap cars are Graham Rahal, Max Chilton, Josef Newgarden (who overcame an earlier pit issue) and Sebastien Bourdais.

Castroneves and Montoya fell to 13th and 14th, a lap down.

With the higher downforce kits making passing difficult, NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski took to Twitter to chime in:

Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
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Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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