Scott Dixon finishes second in first IndyCar race of 2019
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Scott Dixon has kicked off his NTT IndyCar Series title defense with a second-place finish at the opening race of the season in St Petersburg — despite his drink bottle not working throughout the race.
Dixon's race came down to a race to the finish against Penske pilot Josef Newgarden. The 2017 series champion had a healthy gap to Dixon following the final cycle of pit stops, but was continually getting held up by traffic.
This saw Dixon close the margin down to just 1.3 seconds with 10 laps left in the race. But with Newgarden having dealt to the particularly prickly lapped car of Marco Andretti, the gap stabilised at between two and three seconds. In the end, Newgarden triumphed over Dixon by 2.8 seconds. Australian Will Power rounded out the top three.
"It's definitely a tough race, we just never really had any down time. It was pretty flat out. We had one caution there I think," said Dixon.
"It was pretty physical with no fluids, but the PNC Bank car was really fast on the first 10 to 15 laps and we could really pressure the Penske [drivers]. But as soon as they got to the latter part, the last 10 laps, we just fell off a bit.
"We need to work on that, but a great day for us points-wise. Huge credit to Josef, he drove a hell of a race."
Among the star performances was that of Dixon's new Ganassi Racing teammate Felix Rosenqvist. The former Macau Grand Prix winner claimed fourth, after being competitive all race — leading 31 laps of the 110-lap race until being denied a shot at victory by strategy.
Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe, and Simon Pagenaud finished fifth through to seventh, while eighth went to another strong-performing rookie in Colton Herta. Toyota Racing Series graduate Santino Ferucci and Brit Jack Harvey completed the top 10.
The series now travels to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for rounf two on March 24.