Three-time and defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon showed how he won those titles with a masterful drive in the Honda Indy 200 Sunday, earning his fifth career win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course by driving faster than the competition while still saving fuel.
Mid-Ohio was the first win of the year for the 34-year-old Australian driver; a rarity for both Dixon and Target-Ganassi, whose 13-year partnership had yielded such impressive results.
Ganassi strategist Mike Hull called Dixon in early to try an alternative fuel strategy, which gave Dixon a chance to stay out and take the lead when most of the field had to pit for fuel and tires on lap 39. His ability to drive fast while conserving fuel, combined with his understanding of the Mid-Ohio course and Ganassi’s excellent set-up gave Dixon just enough of an edge to retake the lead when everyone else made their final stops.
Dixon’s final stint was a thing of beauty: every lap was perfect, without the slightest slide or bobble. he opened a nine-second gap over the competition while still stretching his fuel three laps longer—though he did run dry three hundred yards past the Start/Finish line.