Dixon wins third in a row, tightens Indy points race
The way things are going for Scott Dixon, it surely wasn’t a surprise that he avoided a first-lap accident Sunday and went on to win the Honda Indy 200 at Lexington, Ohio.
After all, Dixon is on a roll and it was his 27th birthday.
Dixon escaped the mishap in front of him that put a crimp in Danica Patrick’s hopes and hung near the leaders before moving in front late to pick up his third straight IndyCar Series victory.
Dixon’s win tightened the race in the drivers points standings. Trailing Dario Franchitti, who finished second, by 65 points before the streak began, Dixon is behind by 24 with five races left.
Dixon, sixth in qualifying, took the lead for good on Lap 77 of the 85-lap race when Franchitti took a delayed pit stop. Dixon was never threatened to the finish, taking his ninth IndyCar Series win. After wins at Watkins Glen and Nashville the last two weekends, he tied the series mark for consecutive victories set by Kenny Brack (1998) and tied by Dan Wheldon (2005).
Franchitti was second -- his 11th consecutive top-five finish -- by 2.6917 seconds, with polesitter Helio Castroneves third, Tony Kanaan fourth, followed by Patrick and Darren Manning.
Franchitti has 474 points to Dixon’s 450 heading into the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 5.
Sebastien Bourdais won for the first time in four races and regained control of the Champ Car title chase, running away with the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton in Canada.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, seeking an unprecedented fourth straight series title, had failed to finish two of the last three races and found himself trailing rookie Robert Doornbos and second-year driver Will Power in the points standings heading into the eighth of 16 races this season.
But Bourdais got back on track Sunday, winning on Edmonton’s City Centre Airport circuit for the second time in three tries.
He beat 2006 Edmonton winner Justin Wilson to the finish line by 3.947 seconds -- about half the final straightaway. Rookies Graham Rahal, Bourdais’ Newman/Haas/Lanigan teammate, and Simon Pagenaud were third and fourth, with Canadian favorite and 2003 series champion Paul Tracy fifth.
Two-time defending Formula One champion Fernando Alonso passed Felipe Massa of Ferrari on a slippery track late in the race to win the European Grand Prix at Nuerburgring, Germany.
The McLaren driver closed to within two points in the standings of leader Lewis Hamilton. The rookie was ninth, finishing out of the top three for the first time in 10 races this season.
Massa was eight seconds behind in second place, with Mark Webber third for Red Bull to equal his career best.
Hamilton, who also drives for McLaren, leads Alonso, 70-68. He started 10th on the grid following his crash in qualifying Saturday.
Australian Casey Stoner scored his sixth win in 11 MotoGP races, taking the U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., after a dominating performance.
Another Australian, Chris Vermeulen, finished second and Marco Melandri from Italy rode his Honda to third despite pain from a dislocated right ankle caused by a crash in qualifying.