Scott Dixon, Scott McLaughlin cement 1-2 Kiwi finish in IndyCar thriller

Kiwi drivers Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin have finished one-two in the latest IndyCar series race in Texas.

The win was the 51st victory in the stellar career of six-time IndyCar champion Dixon: just one behind tying Mario Andretti for No. 2 on the all-time win list. A.J. Foyt leads with 67 wins.

Three-time Australian V8 Supercars champion McLaughlin showed composure and patience as his debut IndyCar race season continues, staying within about half a second of Dixon during the closing laps to take home second place.

Photo: Indycar.com

Kiwi drivers Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin finished one-two in the latest IndyCar series race at Texas Motor Speedway near Dallas-Fort Worth.

For Dixon it was his 51st career victory and fifth in Texas while McLaughlin earned his first podium in his fourth race.

McLaughlin began in 15th place in his first oval track race of the season and worked his way through the pack to put pressure on Dixon in the closing stages. 21-year-old Pato O'Ward was third.

The victory marks Dixon’s 19th IndyCar season with at least one victory. He also took the series points lead with his fifth career victory on the 1.5-mile oval and set a race-record lead for 206 of 212 laps for his first victory of the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season.

Dixon drove the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to victory by .2646 of a second over fellow Kiwi McLaughlin in the No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, who was turning left only for the very first time.

Photo: Indycar.com

Dixon, who started second, held a comfortable lead of three to five seconds at various points during the race, which went the distance despite rain in the area. But McLaughlin applied plenty of pressure over the last stint of the race after the final pit stops for most of the field under caution on Lap 165.

Dixon approached lap traffic with two laps to go, with the turbulent air from those cars slowing his charge toward the flag. But he held off McLaughlin long enough for victory, averaging 173.036 mph.

“I have this thing on the dash that tells me the gaps to cars,” Dixon told media after the race. “I probably need to take it off because it was stressing me out more than anything. I kept looking down, looking in the mirror. He was fast.”

McLaughlin was ecstatic about his first IndyCar podium finish.

“I’ve never been this bloody happy to finish second in my life,” he joked with media. “I just couldn’t get Scotty there at the end. But I’ll tell you what: it was bloody cool battling with my all-time favourite hero, Scotty Dixon. Two Kiwis, one and two!”

 

The win sees Dixon move from third to first in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series standings after three races, with Alex Palou 18 points behind him in second. McLaughlin’s podium finish sees him jump up to seventh place, 43 points back.

[with additional reporting from Indycar.com]

Related Articles

Brendon Leitch exuberant after 24 Hours of Sebring battle

Kiwi driver’s team ends the rain-interrupted 24 Hours of Sebring with a DNF after a crash during hour 14, but Leitch thrilled with 2021 24H Series GT3 Pro championship win.

Read More

SVG secures second Supercars Championship

Having outclassed a field of superb drivers this year, Giltrap Group sponsored driver, Shane van Gisbergen has secured his second Australian Supercars Championship and seemingly in peak form, here’s to more winning form from the storming...

Read More

The Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 RS

The newest addition to the RS family is an uncompromising driver’s car designed to impress with its lightweight construction, extremely agile chassis set-up, sophisticated aerodynamics and unique soundtrack.

Read More