Helio Castroneves claimed the 50th pole of his career on Saturday at Road America. If he could convert that to a win in the race, it would take that tally up to 30. But the perfect weekend was not to be and it was championship leader, Scott Dixon, who took victory by the narrowest of margins to make it career win number 41.
Scott Dixon takes his first win of the season at Road America and extends his lead in the championship
Helio Castroneves made a dominant start and pulled away from the pack but by lap 20, his teammates had closed back up and it was Josef Newgarden who put an end to his lead, having made it round his teammate, Will Power, off the start.
Graham Rahal made a great start and challenged Dixon for fourth position from sixth, but wasn’t able to muscle his way through and, having failed to leave racing room at turn 2, was instructed to relinquish fifth place to Simon Pagenaud. Rahal was subsequently passed by the Andretti Autosport of Max Chilton, followed by Charlie Kimball.
Takuma Sato lost control of his Andretti Autosport Honda on the back straight and, although he was able to recover to take 19th, this brought out a full course yellow. At the restart, Dixon on his fresh set of reds was able to jump those ahead and had a close battle with Newgarden for the lead into turn 1 before coming out on top.
The restart saw contact between Will Power and James Hinchcliffe, with Hinchcliffe attempting to replicate the move made on Power, seconds before, by Max Chilton. Hinchcliffe came off by far the worse, taking to the grass and dropping back to 20th in the order after an unscheduled pit stop to assess the damage. Power retook the position from Chilton later in the race and was able to hold on to fifth till the end.
With just 10 laps to go and fresh from his outing in the 24 hours of Le Mans, Tony Kanaan found what had been a race long battle with Alexander Rossi coming to a head. Contact between the pair resulted in a broken front wing for Kanaan and a handful of understeer in the next corner that would send him in to the barriers and out of the race.
The resultant full course yellow lasted for four laps, eliminating any subsequent fuel saving and providing a seven lap sprint to the finish. With everyone getting away cleanly this time it was Dixon and Newgarden who would fight it out for the win.
Dixon crossed the line to take his first win in 2017, just half a second ahead of the four Penske drivers headed by Newgarden and Castroneves who completed the podium places.
This result sees Dixon extend his lead over the reigning World Champion, Simon Pagenaud, to 34 points.
This is the final classification
|1||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda
|2||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske-Chevrolet||0.5779|
|3||Helio Castroneves||Team Penske-Chevrolet
|4||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske-Chevrolet
|5||Will Power||Team Penske-Chevrolet
|6||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda||14.7178|
|7||Ed Jones||Dale Coyne Racing-Honda||21.6338|
|8||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda||22.2273|
|9||Max Chilton||Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda||23.3076|
|10||Mikhail Aleshin||Schmidt Peterson-Honda||24.3586|
|11||Carlos Munoz||AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet
|12||Spencer Pigot||Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet
|13||Alex Rossi||Andretti Autosport-Honda
|14||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport-Honda
|15||Conor Daly||AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet
|16||JR Hildebrand||Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet
|17||Esteban Gutierrez||Dale Coyne Racing-Honda||1:28.4634|
|18||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport-Honda
|19||Takuma Sato||Andretti Autosport-Honda
|20||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson-Honda||2 Laps|
|21||Tony Kanaan||Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda||11 Laps|