Scott Dixon capped a great weekend of racing for Honda at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, scoring his second IZOD IndyCar Series win of the season in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200. Dixon’s win completed a near-perfect weekend for the manufacturer with race victories in all five categories featuring Honda entries.
In addition to Dixon’s victory on Sunday, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and drivers Lucas Luhr and Klaus Graf won Saturday’s American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio, with Scott Tucker and Christophe Bouchut from Level 5 Motorsports winning the LMP2 class in the same race. Both teams use the Honda Performance Development ARX-03 chassis. In Saturday’s SCCA Pirelli World Challenge race, RealTime Racing’s Peter Cunningham won the GTS class in an Acura TSX, with Todd Lamb and Compass360 winning Sunday’s Touring Class category in a Honda Civic Si.
Starting fourth, Dixon moved to second behind early leader Will Power after the first round of pit stops. Dixon then took command of the race after his second and final stop of the day, when his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team beat Power’s Team Penske out of the pits. Once in front, Dixon was able to build a comfortable three-second lead over Power to score his fourth Mid-Ohio race win in the last four years.
Behind Dixon and Power, Schmidt Hamilton Racing’s Simon Pagenaud produced another strong run at Mid-Ohio, finishing third after a long battle with Sebastien Bourdais, Dario Franchitti and James Hinchcliffe. Pagenauds’ third-place finish is his third podium result of 2012 and gives him a nearly insurmountable lead in the chase for series Rookie of the Year honors.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 4th, finished 1st, his 4th Mid-Ohio race win in the last six years; 2nd win of 2012 and 29th career win, tying Rick Mears for 10th on the all-time IndyCar winners’ list; Honda’s 4th IndyCar victory of 2012: “We started the race struggling a little bit, lacking front-end grip. But we were able to get wicked mileage out of the Honda engine and still maintain the pace we needed. The guys gave me two perfect [pit] stops and that made the difference. Our guys have been super slick all year and once we got out in front of Will [Power], we were good to go. We’re well back in the championship hunt now, and it’s great to win for Honda here at their home track.”
Simon Pagenaud (#77 Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda) started 3rd, finished 3rd, his 3rd podium finish of 2012 as he extends his Rookie of the Year points lead: “This team has done such a great job all year, and we made another very important step forward this weekend with our setup for road racing. It was an exciting contest, and there was a lot of pretty amazing racing going on all around us. Now, we’re knocking on the door [of a race win], which is nice.”
Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: \"It was great to see such a strong turnout from the Honda family, our associates and their friends and family members. The weather cleared up just in time for them to see a great race and a Honda victory that tightened up the drivers’ championship fight. Congratulations to Scott Dixon for another great Mid-Ohio victory, his fourth in the last six years. Congratulations as well for Muscle Milk and Level 5 Motorsports for their American Le Mans Series wins on Saturday; as well as RealTime Racing for their GTS win in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge and Compass360 in today’s Touring Car event.”