Race Weekend Central

Scott Dixon Stretches Fuel to Win Detroit Melee

Scott Dixon hit yet another fuel number to take the victory at the end of a very long Sunday (June 2) on the streets of Detroit.

With this win, Dixon earns his second triumph of the season and moves himself into the NTT IndyCar Series points lead. Marcus Ericsson followed Dixon to the flag in a rebound from his first-lap exit at the Indianapolis 500.

Marcus Armstrong followed the top two to the flag for the first podium finish of his IndyCar career.

“The team called it perfectly,” Dixon said after the race. “Perfectly! We were on the right strategy … Honda did a superb job as always, a lot of fun driving my Honda out there. And we won, man. How cool is that?!

“It’s just always the variables: trying to stay out of trouble, trying to keep the car on the track, we had rain, it was all over the shop out there.”

With the win, Dixon closes in on A. J. Foyt‘s all-time win record, in addition to his newfound points lead. Dixon wasn’t too pressed when asked if his focus was now on chasing down title number seven.

“For sure,” he said. “I think it always is. It’s really hard, but you’ve got to keep chasing. It’s a team effort, no one single person does it by their self.”

The last challenge to Dixon once he established his lead on lap 66 was Ericsson, from third place. Dixon and then-second-placed Armstrong were both conserving fuel ahead of the Andretti driver, who pitted nine laps later than the Ganassi pair.

Not only did Ericsson not have to conserve fuel, but salvation briefly appeared to have arrived in the form of his teammate Colton Herta. Herta had led the race from the pole, but was caught out by changing conditions earlier in the race when a brief stint of rain, coming under caution, shuffled the field around as teams weighed their options between dry and wet tires.

After running off-track and triggering a caution of his own, on lap 46, Herta was barely clinging to the last spot on the lead lap and found himself with Dixon and Armstrong behind. Not being obligated to move over for the leaders, Herta put up a staunch defense and brought the Ganassi cars back within reach of teammate Ericsson.

However, this all fell apart when Herta let Dixon by and then peeled into the pits with five laps to go, and control of the race shifted back to the hands of Dixon, who held on unchallenged for the final five laps. All Ericsson could achieve on the day was second after passing Armstrong with two to go.

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Kyle Kirkwood, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Santino Ferrucci and Theo Pourchaire rounded out the top 10.

Of the top 10, Armstrong, Power, Ferrucci and Pourchaire collected penalties at some point in the race.

Armstrong was cited by race control for blocking on lap 27 and ordered to give up three positions. Ferrucci was noted for avoidable contact on lap 22 and awarded a stop-and-go penalty. Pourchaire was caught for avoidable contact on lap 65 and likewise ordered to yield three spots.

Power was penalized four times.

The first, for receiving emergency service on a closed pit road, came on lap 3, forcing Power to the back of the field for the restart. The second came on 39 for “failure to back up under yellow, ” resulting in an order to give up three positions. Thirdly, Power was cited for avoidable contact with Rinus VeeKay and ordered to restart at the back of the field.

Finally, the No. 12 was knocked for receiving full service on a closed pit road and issued a drive-through penalty.

Before the race’s halfway point, everything looked up in the air as a small cell of rain descended upon the street circuit. Much of the field dove to the pits for wet tires, but race control extended the caution as they sought to sort out the correct running order. By the end of the caution period on lap 45, the entire field was back on dry-weather tires as the rain had come and gone. Dixon and Ericsson were among the drivers who opted to stay out on dry tires during the brief shower.

Toward the race’s end, championship contenders Alex Palou and Josef Newgarden were caught in the day’s exigent chaos at turn 3. Newgarden was spun around after overcooking the corner’s entry and colliding with Kirwood. Palou, with nowhere to go, ran into the side of the stationary Penske car and was stuck in place while waiting for traffic to pass.

Newgarden ended the day, which included a pit-lane penalty for hitting personnel, in 26th place, while Palou recovered to 16th.

Christian Lundgaard was also among those penalized after making avoidable contact as he tried to pass Romain Grosjean into turn 3. Lundgaard’s car briefly climbed atop Canapino’s, but the Dane was able to reverse away from the scene and eventually drive to an 11th-place finish. Grosjean finished 23rd.

To reach the finish line, Dixon not only went to extreme lengths to stretch fuel, but first and foremost survived the day’s chaos. Only 53 of the race’s 100 laps were run under green flag conditions. Not only were cautions plentiful, but they were long. More than once race control drew both the suspicion of the commentary booth and the ire of X (Twitter) over the length of some caution periods.

2024 IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix Results

Next week comes the XPEL Grand Prix from Road America. Coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

About the author

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Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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