By: Spencer Neff
August 29, 2020
In the second of two oval doubleheaders, the NTT IndyCar Series headed to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Instead of the 248-lap single event run from 2017-2019, there will be two 200-lap events on the 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois.
Dixon nabs Race 1
While this a historic 50th victory for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, the points leader did earn his first short oval win since Richmond in 2009.
After holding off 2019 race winner Takuma Sato by .1404 seconds, the points leader becomes the 11th different winner in 11 races at the track, dating back to Paul Tracy in 1997.
After his victory, Dixon moves to within two victories of tying Mario Andretti for second all-time.
Collecting his second podium of 2020, Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio (Pato) O’Ward backs up his Rookie of the Year title at the Indianapolis 500 with his first oval podium. In the 200-lap event, he led
The weekend got off to a rough start with a multi-car pileup on the front straightaway as the field took the green flag. While Alex Palou, Simon Pagenaud and Oliver Askew stepped out of line, the field stacked up around them, collecting six cars in total.
Although Pagenaud was able to continue, he dropped out on Lap 67 after being unable to maintain minimum speed.
Following the incident, the race saw just one more caution when threats of rain impeded the action. Once the race restarted, the remainder of the race went green.
Just like at Road America and Iowa Speedway in July, two different drivers earned the pole for the doubleheader this weekend. Unlike the previous two doubleheaders, Chevrolet engines did not sweep the NTT P1 Award for the weekend.
After Chevrolet won pole for the first six races, Honda has won the pole for two of the last three. By winning his 59th pole for Race 1, Team Penske’s Will Power inched closer to Mario Andretti’s record of 67 and earned his second of 2020.
After winning pole at WWTR in 2017, Power joins Juan Pablo Montoya as the only repeat pole winners in track history.
For Takuma Sato, his pole is the 10th of his career and first for he and Rahal Letterman Lanigan since he started up front at Texas in 2019.
Previously, Sato’s best start at this track was fifth, when he won last year. With their pole win, RLLR becomes the sixth different team to win a pole in 2020 and Sato is the fifth pole winner this year.
On Friday, Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio (Pato) O’Ward led the way with a best lap of 181.532 mph. Last week, O’Ward earned Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors after his sixth-place finish in the race.
Tomorrow, the second 200-lap event will be run at 3:00 pm Eastern time. IndyCar1909 will have continued coverage of this weekend’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500.