The INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma has seen a wild shakeup in the championship picture in the opening laps.
Alexander Rossi suffered opening lap trouble in the form of contact with teammate Marco Andretti as they took the green flag – Rossi suffered front wing damage in the incident and headed to the pits for repairs.
Rossi sits 23rd in the running order as of writing. Of note: Takuma was an early retiree after suffering an engine failure on Lap 16.
Meanwhile, Josef Newgarden, who came into Sunday’s race 87 points behind Dixon and still with a mathematical chance at catching him, saw his already small title chances take a big blow as he stalled trying to exit the pits. Newgarden quickly got refired, but dropped to ninth in the running order.
Further, Sato’s engine failure means Newgarden’s title hopes, and those of teammate Will Power – he was also 87 points back of Dixon – are even slimmer than when the race began.
Dixon, meanwhile, runs solidly in second behind pole sitter and early race leader Ryan Hunter-Reay. Will Power sits fifth at the time of writing.
As it stands (on Lap 30), Dixon leads Rossi by 95 points as they run. Power is 110 points back in third, while Hunter-Reay has leapfrogged Newgarden and sits fourth in the standings as they run.