A clever strategy call played into Scott Dixon’s hands as the Kiwi climbed from 13th to finish the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama in fifth.
Dixon ran the faster alternative tyres during the middle stanza of the race. By overcutting the field at the second stop, he consolidated his second top-five result of the season.
“I think if we start a bit further up it would make our days a whole lot easier,” he said.
“These mistakes that we are making in qualifying are just not acceptable and it is making race days much harder,”
Scott McLaughlin was sixth at the chequered flag, losing a spot to Dixon after a costly lock-up.
“I thought it was pretty solid,” McLaughlin said. “Our goal all year is to keep getting in the top seven.
“We are up with the big guys up the front.”
Pato O’Ward earned his third IndyCar race win. The McLaren driver pulled off a daring overtake on Rinus Veekay in the final stint to move into the lead; a position he would not relinquish.
“I knew if I had the opportunity, it would have been right then and there,” O’Ward said.
O’Ward is currently going through some inter-team bitterness as he works out a contract extension to stay with McLaren.
“It just sucks to have to go to war,” he said.
Alex Palou put himself between O’Ward and Veekay after the final round of pitstops. He held onto finish P2, making him the new championship leader.
McLaughlin is three points behind Palou in second, while Dixon is 31 points adrift in sixth.
IndyCar now enters its biggest month of the year: May.
The series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for two races, including the hallowed Indy 500 towards the end of the month.
|22||Kyle Kirkwood||+1 lap|
|23||Dalton Kellett||+1 lap|
|24||Jimmie Johnson||+1 lap|
|25||Callum Ilott||+2 laps|
|26||Tatiana Calderón||+2 laps|