Scott Dixon crushes field for first victory in GMR Grand Prix at Indy

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Scott Dixon opened the NTT IndyCar Series season with his second consecutive victory — and his first in the IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver capitalized on sound strategy and a well-timed caution Saturday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, taking the lead from Graham Rahal on Lap 48 of 80 and controlling the second half of the race.

Dixon won by 19.9469 seconds over Rahal. Defending race winner Simon Pagenaud rallied to finish third after starting 20th. Colton Herta and Rinus VeeKay rounded out the top five.

“So good to be racing here back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Dixon told NBC Sports pit reporter Marty Snider in victory lane.

It was a breakthrough of sorts for the five-time series, who had finished runner-up the past three seasons in the GMR Grand Prix. Last year, Dixon led a race-high 39 laps before being passed by Pagenaud in the rain with four laps remaining.

“We’ve had so many runner-up spots here on the road course; it’s just nice,” Dixon said after his 48th career victory. “We got lucky, man. The strategy, the team just nailed it. We got lucky with that caution. But as soon as we got the balance right, the PNC Bank No. 9 just checked out. So it was a pretty easy day toward the end.”

Dixon, who started seventh after he barely missed advancing to the final round in qualifying, opened the 2020 season with a similarly dominant victory June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.

“We’ve had a good start here two out of two, but we’ll have to see,” Dixon said. “It’s tough competition right now. The series has a huge step to it. We’ll keep our heads down and keep trucking on. I can’t thank everybody enough on the team. They keep giving it a little bit extra. I messed up in qualifying yesterday, but it’s nice to rebound like we did.

“You don’t know how it’s ever going to go. Honestly with 15 to go, I thought there’d be a caution, have a repack, and Graham Rahal was super fast. I couldn’t believe his pace on the black tires. Just happy having a little bit of luck that put us in the right direction. Once the guys on the car made a change, it was so much easier as a driver, and we could just check out.”

With its 110th victory in IndyCar, Chip Ganassi Racing snapped a five-race winning streak on the IMS road course for Team Penske, which had the prerace favorite in Will Power.

For the first time in four races as the GMR Grand Prix pole-sitter, Power failed to win after qualifying first. He led the first 16 laps before a pit stop and then cycled into the lead again on Lap 27.

But the Team Penske driver’s strategy was scuttled after he pitted again during a full-course caution on Lap 35 for a crash involving Oliver Askew. Power never led again and finished a lap down in 20th.

The lone yellow flag flew when Askew spun in Turn 14 and backed his No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet into the SAFER barrier. It spoiled what had been shaping up as an excellent weekend for the Arrow McLaren SP rookie, who had qualified fifth Friday.

“I’m OK, just a little bit dizzy,” Askew told NBC Sports pit reporter Dave Burns after being released from the care center. “Sure I’m dehydrated as well. It’s super hot in the car. Really unfortunate. That’s unacceptable to have a result like that. I have to go back and check the data and talk to the guys and see exactly what happened.

“I just lost the rear of the car. It was toward the end of my stint, so the rears were starting to go away. It just really caught me off guard. Really sorry for the guys, and we’ll move on.”

It also was a disappointing race for Alexander Rossi, who lost power on the restart after Askew’s crash. Rossi, who also had engine problems in a 15th in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, said it likely was a fuel pressure problem that caused his 25th-place finish.

“It’s just unfortunate,” said Rossi, who was running seventh before the incident after starting 11th. ” We obviously got off to a decent start. (The Car) was good. We had a difficult day yesterday, but I thought we were fighting back for maybe a top five. It’s a shame to have two of these weekends in a row like this.

“It sucks, but we’ve got two doubleheaders now in the next two weeks. Four races, so we’re going to have to go hard and capitalize. We’re already thinking about going for race wins.”

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans