Watch: Scott Dixon avoids chaos to finish second at Pocono
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Scott Dixon has claimed second place at this morning's NTT IndyCar Series Pocono Raceway ABC Supply 500 event, beaten only by Australia's Will Power. It's Dixon's sixth second-place finish of the season, and helps him close the gap to championship leader Josef Newgarden.
The race was underlined by an enormous lap-one crash triggered by Takuma Sato. The scariest moment of the incident concerned Dixon's teammate Felix Rosenqvist, who's car went airborne and almost into the catch fencing. The incident cast a shadow on the future of racing at Pocono, with numerous drivers (including James Hinchcliffe, who was involved in the crash, and Robert Wickens voicing their concerns).
"13th year in a row winning races. I'd been thinking about that."— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) August 18, 2019
As lightning forced the race to end at @PoconoRaceway, @12WillPower came home the winner in @IndyCar for another season. pic.twitter.com/WlLf3g0qVB
The crash unfolded just behind Dixon, and took out championship rival Alexander Rossi. The Kiwi went on to lead a portion of the race during what ended up becoming the final pit-cycle, as adverse weather descended on the 'tricky triangle'.
Lightning in the area prompted a safety car on lap 127, which eventually became a red flag by the following lap. This handed the win to Power, who had gained a jump on Dixon by turning in some exceptionally quick laps on old tyres prior to making his last stop. He rejoined the field in second behind Dixon, before passing him on lap 115.
Simon Pagenaud completed the top three, ahead of impressive Castrol Toyota Racing Series graduate Santino Ferrucci. Series leader Newgarden ended up fifth, with Sébastien Bourdais, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, and Charlie Kimball rounding out the top 10.
Newgarden's relatively flat race, Rossi's eventual classification in 18th (his team having fixed his car after the lap one skirmish), and the fine performances from Dixon and Pagenaud have tightened up the championship fight significantly.
Newgarden still leads on 535 points to Rossi's 500. But Pagenaud is now only five points behind Rossi, with Dixon another 12 points back.
Dixon's result adds to a string of consistent performances. It's his fourth podium finish in a row (following second-places at Toronto and Iowa, plus his win at Mid-Ohio). Newgarden and Rossi by contrast have both only had one podium over the same four-race stretch.
The series now gears up to visit Gateway in Illinois this weekend. From there, just two rounds of the series will remain; Portland and Laguna Seca.