One of the dominant storylines entering Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America was that championship leader Scott Dixon was not among the seven different race winners during the first half of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
However, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver flipped that storyline on its head with impressive run to victory at Road America, his first at the 4.048-mile road course and his first of the 2017 season, bringing the total number of races winners in 2017 to eight.
It also sees him add to his championship lead, although the title fight remains incredibly close. Dixon now sits on 379 points, 34 ahead of second-place Simon Pagenaud. Helio Castroneves sits third on 342 points. Takuma Sato (323) and Josef Newgarden (318) complete the top five, while Will Power (sixth, with 316 points) and Graham Rahal (seventh, with 302 points), remain well within striking distance of the championship lead.
Assuming that 21 cars will fill out the remainder of the 2017 events, the maximum point swing in a race is 45. (Note: Harding Racing will return at Pocono Raceway for the ABC Supply 500. With 22 cars in the field that weekend, the maximum point swing will be 46).
With that in mind, Pagenaud and Castroneves could overtake Dixon at Iowa Speedway in two weeks (Iowa Corn 300, July 9 at 5:00 p.m. on NBCSN). And, while Sato, Newgarden, Power, and Rahal mathematically cannot leave Iowa in the championship lead, they could easily gain ground on Dixon.
Further, with double-points available at the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, the championship remains anyone’s for the taking.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”