Dixon was disappointed after qualifying just 14ebut in the Sunday morning warm-up he was quick on the main and alternate Firestones to take the lead.

He passed three cars at the start of the race, lost a place, then ran over the debris of a chain reaction shunt which was triggered by Graham Rahal hitting the rear of Pato O’Ward at the corner 6 on lap 26 after a restart. . This forced several drivers to try to sneak past and brake early, and two permanent victims were Dalton Kellett and Simona De Silvestro.

The debris damaged the floor of the Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda and punctured a tire. But Dixon dug deep and rushed through the pitch, which only got condensed by more bouts of caution.

With the red flag waved for another shunt, when Josef Newgarden bounced Romain Grosjean off a wall, Dixon had to endure a 1.5-lap sprint to the checkered flag on old tires, fending off the speedy Penske-Chevrolet and in good condition from poleman Scott McLaughlin. He passed the checkered flag less than 0.2 seconds ahead.

“The hardest part of the weekend was knowing that PNC Bank #9 was super fast, we proved that in the warmup,” Dixon told NBC Sports.

“Congratulations to the team, we had a big crash there that took half the floor off so we had to do four front wing laps, we had no grip. And then I think we had did 45-50 laps on that last set of tires, so the last stop we didn’t even take any tires.

“Oh man, Nashville is so awesome! I was really worried about Scott [McLaughlin] because I knew he would take a chance – he kind of has to with the standings right now – and he was super fast on newer tires so I was a sitting duck. A lap or two more would have been really hard to do.

McLaughlin, who suffered a poor save that dropped him to 15ehe was asked how long he still needed to claim his third victory of the season.

“One lap we were side by side on the finish line. We were 15th in that last pit exchange, we just had a great restart and the car was fast, it was unreal.

“I just fell short at the end but congratulations to Scotty, it was always my dream to drive it to the end. I had a lot of fun and that’s why I came to IndyCar races. is the best race in the world.

“Great weekend, great for points and we will keep pushing in the last three races of the year.”

Six-time champion Dixon is now just six points behind 2014 champion Will Power in the championship with three rounds to go, while McLaughlin is 58 points behind.


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