Scott Dixon jumped pole-sitter Colton Herta during a pit sequence and held on for the victory Sunday in the Honda Indy Toronto, tying Mario Andretti on the all-time IndyCar win list with his first victory this season.
Dixon pitted a lap earlier than Herta and then cycled into the lead on Lap 32 of 85. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver controlled the second half of the races, winning by 0.8106 seconds for his 52nd career victory to tie Mario Andretti for second on the all-time win list. A.J. Foyt is first with 67 wins.
“It’s amazing to be close to Mario,” Dixon told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “Every time I’m asked these questions I’m just so thankful we still have A.J. and him in the pits. We get to see them; we get to talk to them. It’s just fantastic. It’s huge, man. I feel so lucky to be a part of this group.
FULL STATS PACKAGE: Results, points standings after the Honda Indy Toronto
“Hopefully we’re in the title hunt now. I’m hoping this is the start of the roll.”
HISTORY MADE!@scottdixon9 ties @MarioAndretti on the all-time wins list in @INDYCAR.
He now only trails A.J. Foyt, who has 67. pic.twitter.com/yp66Nc7USp
— INDYCAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) July 17, 2022
Herta finished second after fending off a late charge by Felix Rosenqvist.
“Felix was really fast, I was glad to keep him behind us,” Herta told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his second podium of the season (and first since his win on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course two months ago). “We just struggled with tire wear. Other than that, the car was amazing, and obviously got beat by Dixon but one of those races to be proud of, a pole and second, I’m happy with that. Hopefully we can continue with these results more consistently.”
Dixon’s fourth victory at Toronto was his first in the IndyCar Series since May 1, 2021 at Texas Motor Speedway. The six-time series champion extended his record streak to 18 consecutive IndyCar seasons with at least one victory. Dixon, who turns 42 next week, has 20 IndyCar seasons with at least one win.
Mario thank you Legend, for your incredibly kind words. To even be mentioned in the same conversation as you my friend is an honor . https://t.co/zYOOFWYy5i
— Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9) July 17, 2022
Graham Rahal finished fourth, and points leader Marcus Ericsson took fifth after battling hard with Ganassi teammate Alex Palou.
“It was tough toward the end on a couple of restarts, I had to be clever, and it’s always risk vs. reward when fighting for a championship,” Ericsson told Welch. “It’s really tough. A very fine line of how aggressive you need to be without being stupid.
“Today was a perfect mesh of driving for me. I was clever when I had to be and aggressive when I had to be. At the end, a couple of guys had a bad restart, I picked up a few positions, and that’s going to be really important when we sum this up at the end of the season. It’s tough to pick your battles, but I think we did that well today.”
With @scottdixon9 tying @MarioAndretti for second on the all-time wins list, here's a look at the top five. #INDYCAR pic.twitter.com/OQhSDpE93E
— INDYCAR on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) July 17, 2022
Palou finished sixth as the defending series champion rebounded from a crash and mechanical problem Saturday relegating him to the 22nd starting position. That was the capper to a controversial week in which he has been claimed by two teams for next season.
“Super pleased with how we ended the race,” Palou told Burns. “Shame that we had the car to do a little better, but it was a huge day for the team. Super happy. Car was good. We gambled a bit pitting early on the first top, and it kind of worked.”
With IndyCar racing for the first time since 2019 on the Toronto street course, the first half of the race was unusually clean. The yellow flag flew for the first time on Lap 45 as Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi collided in Turn 3 while racing for position. The accident eliminated Rossi from the race.
“It’s a shame; we had a car to be up front,” Rossi said.
Rosenqvist soldiered on for a season-best third place, his first podium finish since his July 12, 2020 victory at Road America. The Swede has signed with McLaren Racing for next season, but CEO Zak Brown has yet to announce whether Rosenqvist will race in IndyCar or Formula E.
“What a fun race,” Rosenqvist told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “We had to fight really hard for it. The strategy for the race, you had to overtake on track and do good pit stops. I think we did both of those.
“This weekend hopefully makes Zak doubt some things. Still a long way to go in the year, but every race just keeps getting better and better, and this is the trajectory we want to be on, and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”
Great drive for @FRosenqvist to get his first podium at @ArrowMcLarenSP! 👊 Pato rebounded back to a P11 finish.
Also, congrats to @scottdixon9 in tying @MarioAndretti on the @IndyCar all-time wins list at 52. 👏 pic.twitter.com/zgFIqdGzR0
— Zak Brown (@ZBrownCEO) July 17, 2022