IndyCar: Scott Dixon dominates 2020 opener at Texas

Scott Dixon dominated the 2020 IndyCar season-opening Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway for the 47th victory of his career.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon got his 2020 IndyCar season off to a dominant start nearly three months after the season was slated to get underway on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Dixon, who started the Genesys 300 in second place, led 157 of the 200 laps of the race at Texas Motor Speedway in his #9 Honda en route to a 4.4109-second victory over Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in his #22 Chevrolet, although the finish was technically under caution since A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ Charlie Kimball crashed just before the checkered flag flew.

Dixon and Pagenaud also finished in the top two in the race at the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) high-banked oval in Fort Worth, Texas two years ago, with Dixon winning that one as well.

This win is Dixon’s fourth at Texas Motor Speedway, and it is the 47th win of his IndyCar career, moving him to just five wins behind Mario Andretti for second place on the all-time wins list.

Race polesitter Josef Newgarden of Team Penske, the reigning winner of the race  and the reigning series champion, overcame tire issues all night long to finish in a solid third place in his #1 Chevrolet.

A stacked group of six Andretti Autosport drivers, seven if you include Jack Harvey of the Andretti Autosport-affiliated Meyer Shank Racing, saw a surprising leader, as Zach Veach tied his career-high result with a fourth place effort in his #26 Honda.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Ed Carpenter finished in a solid fifth place in his #20 Chevrolet, his best result at Texas Motor Speedway since winning the race back in 2014. Carlin’s Conor Daly, who is Ed Carpenter Racing’s road and street course driver, finished in a solid sixth in his #59 Chevrolet.

Andretti Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta finished in seventh place in his #88 Honda ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had to unlap his #28 Honda after he was penalized for unapproved adjustments before the race.

Hunter-Reay was to have started the race in fourth place. But he had to drop to the rear and then serve a drive-through penalty once the green flag flew. Such was the case for teammate Alexander Rossi, who could only rally to finish in 15th place in his #27 Honda after he was to have started in eighth.

Arrow McLaren SP rookie Oliver Askew finished in a solid ninth place in his #7 Chevrolet in his series debut. On the other end of the spectrum, A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ Tony Kanaan finished in 10th in his #14 Chevrolet in his 21st and final start at Texas Motor Speedway.

But while Dixon did lead over three quarters of the race, it was not as straightforward as it may seem. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist had what it took to at least challenge Dixon, lowering a deficit of more than 10 seconds to under a half-second in the closing laps.

But while running in second place with 10 laps remaining, he spun out in turn two attempting to lap Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe. He ended up being officially scored in 20th place.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing saw a promising race turn into a disastrous one as well. Takuma Sato did not even compete after wrecking in qualifying, as his #30 Honda, which was fast in practice and sat on the pole at Texas Motor Speedway last year, was not ready to roll by the time the green flag flew.

Then Graham Rahal experienced a pre-race issue and found himself in a position similar to the positions of Hunter-Reay and Rossi. He ended up finishing in 17th place in his #15 Honda.

The race featured five lead changes among three drivers. Of the 43 laps that were not led by Dixon, 41 were led by Newgarden and two were led by Veach.

The race also featured four caution flag periods. Aside of the two caused by the wrecks involving Rosenqvist and Kimball, there was one caused by an early wreck involving rookies Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing and Alex Palou of Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh. The other one was caused by debris.

The top 10 drivers finished the race on the lead lap, and eight of the other 14 who competed in it finished it.

Here are the full race results of the 2020 Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Race Results
1st – Scott Dixon
2nd – Simon Pagenaud
3rd – Josef Newgarden
4th – Zach Veach
5th – Ed Carpenter
6th – Conor Daly
7th – Colton Herta
8th – Ryan Hunter-Reay
9th – Oliver Askew
10th – Tony Kanaan
11th – Charlie Kimball
12th – Patricio O’Ward
13th – Will Power
14th – Marco Andretti
15th – Alexander Rossi
16th – Jack Harvey
17th – Graham Rahal
18th – James Hinchcliffe
19th – Marcus Ericsson
20th – Felix Rosenqvist
21st – Santino Ferrucci
22nd – Rinus VeeKay
23rd – Alex Palou
24th – Takuma Sato

Next: Top 10 IndyCar drivers of all-time

IndyCar is set to return to action with the first road course race of the season on Saturday, July 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the GMR Grand Prix. This race is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET.