Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, IndyCar, 2024

Dixon sips fuel to win as Newgarden and Herta collide in his mirrors


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Scott Dixon won the Long Beach Grand Prix with a fuel-sipping masterpiece of a drive which surprised even himself.

After climbing from the cockpit of his Ganassi machine Dixon admitted he thought his team had been too ambitious with his refuelling strategy. But by ekeing out a pair of 33-lap stints, and aided by contact behind him, he snatched victory from eighth on the grid.

Dixon moved into the lead by pitting after Christian Rasmussen broke his suspension and crashed on lap 17, triggering a caution period. Will Power, who took the lead from pole-winner Felix Rosenqvist on the first lap, also took that first opportunity to pit, but went on to finish sixth.

Josef Newgarden looked the favourite to win after he refuelled on lap 30, a much more sensible point to make the first of two pit stops. By the time he emerged from his second stop on lap 59, ahead of Power, Dixon was seven seconds up the road. But while the Ganassi driver was sipping his fuel to reach the end, Newgarden could drive flat-out.

Start, Long Beach, IndyCar, 2024
Power passed Rosenqvist to lead at the start
Newgarden was on Dixon’s tail with 15 laps to go, the gap between the pair less than half a second at times. While the Penske driver pressed him hard, he couldn’t find a way by. Colton Herta and Alex Palou drew close, forming a four-way fight for the lead.

Ahead, a cluster of four backmarkers offered Newgarden an opportunity. But before he had the chance to take it he was hit by behind at the hairpin by Herta, who admitted he went in slightly too hard. The contact lifted the rear of Newgarden’s car, putting it into anti-stall, and allowing Herta and Palou through while the Penske got going again.

Now Herta bore down on Dixon, though the Ganassi driver gained some respite when he lapped team mate Kyffin Simpson, who kept stuck between the leading pair for a lap. Herta dived past him with four laps to go, but ran out of time to attempt a move on Dixon.

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The six-times champion therefore clinched victory, leading home Herta and Palou. Newgarden, fourth, was frustrated by the lack of any penalty for Herta. Marcus Ericsson took fifth ahead of Power and last year’s winner Kyle Kirkwood. Rosenqvist sank to ninth after encountering brake problem, taking the chequered flag behind Juncos Hollinger’s Romain Grosjean.

Alexander Rossi completed the top 10 on a poor day for McLaren. He was hit from behind early on by team mate Pato O’Ward, who unlike Herta served a drive-through penalty for his infraction, and went on to take the chequered flag in 16th.

McLaren could at least be pleased with the performance of David Malukas’ latest stand-in, Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire, who claimed 11th. He produced a rapid and error-free drive, and even managed to overtake the eventual race winner when Dixon appeared in front of him following a pit stop.

Dixon dedicated his victory to Colin Giltrap, a significant figure in his career and that of many other New Zealand racers.

Race result

19Scott DixonGanassiHonda
226Colton HertaAndretti/Curb-AgajanianHonda
310Alex PalouGanassiHonda
42Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
528Marcus EricssonAndrettiHonda
612Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
727Kyle KirkwoodAndrettiHonda
877Romain GrosjeanJuncos HollingerChevrolet
960Felix RosenqvistMeyer ShankHonda
107Alexander RossiMcLarenChevrolet
116Theo PourchaireMcLarenChevrolet
1211Marcus ArmstrongGanassiHonda
138Linus LundqvistGanassiHonda
1421Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
1578Agustin CanapinoJuncos HollingerChevrolet
165Pato O’WardMcLarenChevrolet
1715Graham RahalRLLHonda
1841Sting Ray RobbFoytChevrolet
194Kyffin SimpsonGanassiHonda
2051Nolan SiegelCoyneHonda
2114Santino FerrucciFoytChevrolet
2266Tom BlomqvistMeyer ShankHonda
2345Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
2430Pietro FittipaldiRLLHonda
2518Jack HarveyCoyneHonda
263Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
2720Christian RasmussenCarpenterChevrolet

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Dixon sips fuel to win as Newgarden and Herta collide in his mirrors”

  1. This sort of out of nowhere win has become somewhat of a trademark for Dixon. Also fantastic result for Pourchaire

  2. Even more remarkable Dixon has won a race in the championship for the each of the last 19 years.

  3. Goodspeed Dixon!

  4. Do not look anywhere than here in IndyCar and Scott Dixon to get the goat of open-wheel racing. He’s now on a 20-year win streak. This is absolutely insane and might never be replicated. It will not get better than that.

  5. Can’t believe Herta got away with that without a penalty. Clearly hindered Newgarden

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      22nd April 2024, 11:09

      I think penalties are given out based on the level of the infraction and not the result of it.
      Little taps, front to rear happen all the time and are not normally penalised.

      1. I don’t disagree, but the problem here is consistency. Pato was penalized earlier in the race for pretty much the same thing. So if the same criteria is applied then Herta should’ve been given a drivethrough or at least ordered to drop behind Newgarden.

        But that would kill all the drama in the last few laps…

        1. Technically it wasn’t the same thing as O’Ward hit Rossi from much further behind and harder, cutting his tyre. The Newgarden/Herta incident is closer to the driver who touched the back of O’Ward immediately after he hit Rossi (an incident that also wasn’t penalised).
          The problem is purely that Newgarden’s car went into anti-stall for some reason, which wasn’t really anyone’s fault.

  6. Reast in Peace Sir Colin. Fair to say there is not a New Zealander in international motorsport who doesn’t owe some or all of their career to him.

  7. Really good race with an exciting ending! Such a bummer that Herta hit Newgarden, as it appeared he was going to overtake Dixon in a lap or two. What can you say about Dixon? He’s just unbelievable!

  8. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    22nd April 2024, 16:13

    I think Power would have won had he pitted for the first time about the same time as Newgarden

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