Indianapolis Motor Speedway
24 Hour Le Mans
Having his best season start since his first IZOD IndyCar Series championship in 2003, Scott Dixon finished second Sunday at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. It was the second consecutive podium finish for the Honda-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver, following on the heels of his runner-up result last weekend at the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Starting on the inside of the second row, in third, Dixon moved into the lead following the first round of scheduled pit stops, then controlled the middle third of the race, while many fierce battles for position raged behind him. But Dixon's lead disappeared on lap 65, when he was delayed by slower cars while entering and leaving the pits for his final stop, handing the lead to eventual winner Will Power.
Taking the checkers just over three seconds behind Power, Dixon still closed to within two points of early-season drivers' championship leader Helio Castroneves, and was the first of three Honda-powered drivers in the top five.
Graham Rahal had his first top-five finish of 2012, and came close to his first podium finish of the year, as he hounded eventual third-place finisher Castroneves for the final 15 laps.
Simon Pagenaud also improved on his sixth-place finish last week in St. Petersburg, climbing through the field in his Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda Dallara, from 10th at the start to fifth at the checkers. Mike Conway recovered from a minor "off" just after the final race restart on Lap 74 to finish seventh for A.J. Foyt Racing; while a last-lap pass of Marco Andretti saw three-time defending series champion Dario Franchitti round out the top-10 finishers for Honda today.
After back-to-back races in the Southeast to open the 2012 season, the IZOD IndyCar Series now goes cross-country, continuing in two weeks with the April 15 Grand Prix of Long Beach in Southern California.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 3rd, finished 2nd: "I'm feeling a bit angry at the moment, but I guess it's a good thing if you're