• Honda clinches manufacturers’ title with two races remaining
  • Alexander Rossi finishes second, Scott Dixon third at Gateway Motorsports Park
  • Dixon’s championship lead now 26 points over Rossi

MADISON, Ill. (Aug. 25, 2018) – Although unable to overtake Will Power in the final laps for the race win, Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon continued their duel for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, finishing second and third, respectively, Saturday night at Gateway Motorsports Park.  Their results were more than enough for Honda to clinch the Manufacturers’ title with two races remaining.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ON7mmk1hs8

With only two caution periods during the 248-lap contest, the final oval race of the season developed into a battle of pit strategies, with Power, Dixon, Ed Jones and the impressive Zach Veach running a four pit-stop race; while Rossi and fellow Honda drivers Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato completed the race distance with only three stops. 

For a time, it appeared that Rossi might be able to pull off a victory reminiscent of his 2016 Indianapolis 500 triumph, stretching his fuel mileage to the checkers.  But Power was able to make up the time lost with his extra pit stop and chase down both Rossi and then-race leader Veach, moving into first on Lap 240 of 248 for his third victory of the season. 

Dixon also closed on Rossi in the final laps, but was unable to pass and finished third. After 15 of 17 races, Dixon continues to lead the drivers’ title chase with 568 points to 542 points for Rossi.  Power moves into third with 500 points.

Starting 16th, Veach was one of the stars of tonight’s race, leading briefly and finishing fifth.  Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Ed Jones, also featured in the lead group for much of the race after starting 12th.  His late-race pit stop, however, dropped him to an unrepresentative 8th at the finish.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series action at Gateway Motorsports Park are available on HPD’s Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels. 

The Verizon IndyCar Series continues its stretch run to the finish of the 2018 season with next weekend’s penultimate race, and the September 2 return of Indy car racing to Portland International Raceway.

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 1st, finished 3rd“I think it was a good race for us and the PNC Bank team. It was great to lead a bunch of laps and have a good car, especially after not testing here [prior to the race weekend]. There were two different strategies that played out [in the race] and I’m a bit mad at myself tonight for not making a decision quicker on which one to take. I’m not sure if it would have made a huge difference in the end, but it’s a solid result and we lost just a small bit to Rossi.”

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) started 2nd, finished 2nd: “Every weekend, we just have to try and beat Scott [Dixon]. Will [Power, race winner] was amazing today, so congrats to him. I’m a little lost for words; I’m not sure how we made that [second-place finish] happen today – that’s unbelievable. I wasn’t full throttle at all for the last 70 laps. It was a huge ask when Rob [Edwards, strategist] came over the radio and told me the fuel number. I was like ‘Here we go again.’ I couldn’t have done it without a great NAPA Andretti Honda. I don’t know that we had enough for Will, even if it was a flat-out race to the finish. But the important thing is we beat Scott and closed the [points] gap a little bit.”

 

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on tonight’s race and Honda clinching the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship: “That was one of the more interesting races of the year, with differing strategies in play at the end.  It’s a little bittersweet to clinch the Manufacturers’ Championship without a race win tonight, but that doesn’t diminish our pride in the accomplishment.  Congratulations to everyone at HPD for all their hard work, and good luck to Scott and Alexander in the final two races as they continue to do battle for the drivers’ championship.”

 

Bommarito Automotive Group 500

Circuit:             Gateway Motorsports Park (1.25-mile oval) Madison, IL

2017 Winner:   Josef Newgarden (Team Penske)139.465 mph average

Weather:         Clear, hot, humid, 88 degrees F

 

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver

Team

Manufacturer

Laps

Notes

1.

4.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

248

155.644 mph average

2.

2.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

248

+1.3117 seconds

3.

1.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

248

 

4.

6.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

248

 

5.

16.

Zach Veach-R

Andretti Autosport

Honda

248

 

6.

11.

Spencer Pigot

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet

248

 

7.

3.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

248

 

8.

12.

Ed Jones

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

248

 

9.

13.

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

247

 

10.

7.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

247

 

Other Honda Results

11.

21.

Pietro Fittipaldi-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

247

Running

14.

10.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

246

Running

15.

8.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Mtspts

Honda

246

Running

20.

5.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

172

Did not finish – mechanical

21.

9.

Sebastien Bourdais

DCR with Vasser-Sullivan

Honda

0

Did not finish – crash