Scott Dixon narrowly holds off Felix Rosenqvist to win at Mid-Ohio

3 Comments

Scott Dixon won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in exciting fashion Sunday afternoon, narrowly holding off teammate Felix Rosenqvist to take his sixth victory at the famed 13-Turn road course.

Dixon, who was on fading Firestone red tires, saw his margin over Rosenqvist begin to shrink as the laps wound down.

With no team orders in play, both drivers were allowed to fight it out for the victory.

Rosenqvist got around lapped traffic separating himself from Dixon on the final lap, and made an attempt to pass on the final corner, but Dixon narrowly held on by a margin of 0.0934 seconds – the third closest road course finish in series history – to take his second victory of the season.

“That was crazy,” Dixon told NBC Sports following the 46th race victory of his illustrious career. “I feel a little bad about Felix. We put some moves on him for sure there but we were just a sitting duck. I had nothing else I could do, because if I let one by, I was going to let a whole lot by.

“I think we were too aggressive on the second set of reds. We were way too loose on our used set as well, but they held in there. All that counts is that we got the win.”

Rosenqvist might have come up just car a length short of his maiden IndyCar victory, but his second-place finish was the best to date for the rookie Swede.

“I thought he [Dixon] gave me the room because he looked really slow on the reds and saving fuel,” Rosenqvist said. “He kinda veered in at the last moment. There was a little bit of a misunderstanding there, we touched a little bit.

“He raced hard and fair for the last couple of corners and [I] almost got it in there at the end, but that was fantastic. It was our first podium with Chip Ganassi Racing”

Ryan Hunter-Reay finished the race in the third position, while polesitter Will Power finished fourth and Alexander Rossi finished fifth.

Series points leader Josef Newgarden finished a disappointing 14th after crashing in Turn 2 on the last lap of the race. Newgarden was battling Hunter-Reay for the final podium spot but was unable to complete the pass, instead making contact with Hunter-Reay’s DHL Honda before spinning into the gravel pit.

As a result, the battle for the Astor Cup remains a four-car race with only four rounds remaining in the 2019 season.

Newgarden saw his lead over Rossi shrink down to 16 points, while Simon Pagenaud sits 47 points back and Dixon remains the last driver with a legitimate chance to contend for the title, 62 points behind Newgarden.

“I forced the issue, probably,” Newgarden said following the accident. “I was trying to get on the podium there and I got inside of him [Hunter-Reay] and started looping around and I lost power.

“It was my fault trying to force the issue there. I wish I could have maintained the engine, that was the big thing. I wish we could have done more at the end. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

The NTT IndyCar Series now heads to Pocono Raceway for the ABC Supply 500 on August 18. Live flag-to-flag coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Click here for full race results

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter