Kiwi Scott Dixon grabs podium finish at Indy 500

New Zealand driver Scott Dixon has finished third at the Indianapolis 500.

Dixon, who started 21st on the grid, was in contention for his second title but was unable to make an impression on the leaders over the finals laps.

Defending champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske overtook the McLaren of Pato O’Ward on the final lap to grab his second title.

The Mexican O’Ward took the lead with two laps remaining but couldn’t hold off American Newgarden who stormed to victory.

“Just so proud of this team. They crushed it, crushed it,” an elated Newgarden said.

It was an impressive performance by 43 year old Dixon, who was far from happy after qualifying, but admitted anything was possible.

He made a great start and was up to 15th after a first lap crash, which took out three cars, and he spent time at the front of the field as his Ganassi team put him on a different fuel strategy.

Dixon, the 2008 winner, grabbed third place from Alexander Rossi on the final lap.

“It was like a win, honestly,” Dixon said.

“We had some ups and downs through the race, we had some weird restarts where it felt like some people were jumping. Then we got on to the right strategy and had some great restarts at the end and we were leading.

“But on that restart when they both (Newgarden and O’Ward) I’m like ‘ok this is going to be a bit of a problem’. Once they started going back and forth I was just flat out trying to keep in their tow.”

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MAY 26: Josef Newgarden, driver of the #2 Shell Powering Progress Team Penske, celebrates ion the yard of bricks after winning the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   James Gilbert/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by James Gilbert / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Dixon concedes his car simply wasn’t fast enough.

“Got to give credit to everybody at Honda and HRC and everybody that’s been working extremely hard but we definitely just didn’t have the speed today unfortunately.”

He said the battle for first ahead of him was a spectacle.

“It was wild to watch. At the end there when you’re going for third place, you see the first two mixing it up and you hope they’re going to crash into each other.”

The race started four hours late because of rain, but the drivers made up for the delay by turning in a dramatic race.

There were numerous yellow flags which meant there were 87 lead changes and 16 different race leaders.

Fellow New Zealander Scott McLaughlin, who started on pole, led regularly early in the race and remained in contention for the majority of the 200 laps.

However he slowly drifted from the leaders over the last 25 laps to finish sixth.

Josef Newgarden of Team Penske, leads a pack of cars during the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 26, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

McLaughlin admitted he had a clutch issue during the race.

“We were up there all day, but just didn’t quite have enough,” McLaughlin said afterwards.

“It’s my fourth time here and best result yet, but it’s hard not to be selfish, it’s good for Team Penske, but this place you just want to do it for yourself.”

The third New Zealander in the field, Marcus Armstrong had a day to forget.

In his first full season in IndyCars and in his first oval race ever, Armstrong lasted just one lap.

He pitted during the first lap when there was a collision involving other cars, but was unable to rejoin the race because of a mechanical issue with his Ganassi Honda.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button