Scott Dixon wins Honda Indy Toronto, extends points lead
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New Zealand's Scott Dixon has extended his lead of the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings; winning this morning's Honda Indy Toronto in Canada.
It's his third win of the season, and Dixon's 44th career win. The latter stat elevates Dixon to being tied for second overall with A.J Foyt as the most prolific winners in American open-wheel racing.
Dixon further benefited from poor finishes for his four main title rivals. In their absence Simon Pagenaud and Robert Wickens rounded out the podium placings.
Having showcased good pace all weekend, topping various practice sessions and qualifying second, Dixon got his chance to take first during a chaotic lap-34 race restart.
Chasing race leader Josef Newgarden, Dixon inherited the lead when Newgarden hit the wall coming onto the front straight. Newgarden subsequently faded, as a crash involving Will Power unfolded behind them.
"I'm a little worn out man, that was definitely a physical race," said Dixon.
"It was easy to pick up lots of debris on the tyres, and I think that's what happened to Josef [Newgarden]. He went a little bit fast into [turn] 11 and got into the grey, and that was pretty much it.
"I can't thank the crew enough, the car was superb ... we just needed some clear air to check out.
"The first thing that pops into my mind is trying not to do the same thing. Obviously it was still green at that point all the way to turn three, and I was definitely pretty cautious into one.
"We had a lot of issues there with lapped traffic. I understand that they were trying to stay on the lead lap, but Hunter Reay was definitely backing us up and by the time we got clear of him we were almost two seconds a lap faster."
Dixon's new closest rival was Robert Wickens, but the local driver was set to lose the spot to Simon Pagenaud at the next set of pit stops — the two drivers making contact as they tried to resolve the position.
The closing laps were tense, with Dixon getting held up by Ryan Hunter-Reay (who was holding on in front of the Kiwi before making his last pit stop, in the hope of finding a safety car). Pagenaud closed, while simultaneously Wickens closed up to Pagenaud.
But with Hunter-Reay stopping eventually, Dixon was handed back first place. From there no safety cars would come (despite minor crashes for Takuma Sato and Spencer Pigot respectively) and he extended the margin to over four seconds — holding together to take his 44th career win.
Dixon's nearest championship rivals were all caught up in problems. Along with Newgarden and Power's crashes, plus a crash for Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi also lost possession following contact with Power that caused front wing damage.
This left James Hinchcliffe and Charlie Kimball to round out the top five, while Tony Kanaan, Zach Veach, the recovering Rossi and Newgarden, and Marco Andretti completed the top 10.