Road America IndyCar Race Review: Dixon’s Cheese Edition

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Photo from indycar.com

Surprisingly an engaging battle broke out Sunday in Wisconsin, although the eventual cheese taker was never in doubt. No runaway like last year, the Kohler Grand Prix managed to keep fans’ interest fully engaged from beginning to end – a remarkable accomplishment for the wine and cheese crowd on a road course.

One after another of Penske’s four horsemen faltered, paving the way for Scott Dixon’s 41st career win. He’s now a mere win away from third on the all time list. The half second victory was the Ganassi ace’s first since September and also his first at Elkhart Lake. Once the confetti had settled, the Cap’n’s crew were highly cheesed.

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Photo from indycar.com

Action occurred right from the start at the series’ longest track, as passing aplenty played out. Owning the first two rows, Team Penske seemed set to figure largely in the outcome. Josef Newgarden who started third fought his way to the lead by lap 13, getting around Will Power and pole sitter Helio Castro-Neves. But with the Cap’n away the Penskes did stray, and for Tim Cindric it turned into a long day.

The first caution was brought out by Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato, who left the course and came sliding to an abrupt halt. The Japanese driver then committed the cardinal sin of unstrapping and exiting a perfectly serviceable race car for some strange reason. He did eventually continue after the odd and never fully shown – or explained – off track adventure. It all added to the vague cheesiness of the event.

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Photo from indycar.com

Dixon took the lead from Josef Newgarden on the lap 30 restart and never relinquished it. Helio, Pags and Power rounded out the top five. “They looked pretty disappointed,” Dixon said of his Penske podium mates, seeming a bit like the mouse with a mountain of cheese.

The other caution was caused on lap 46 by Tony Kanaan, who was in fact first out as predicted. The forty two year old violently slammed his car into the wall for a last place finish, a fitting follow up to the travesty at Texas. Perhaps our call for Kanaan’s retirement doesn’t seem so odd all of a sudden.

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Photo from indycar.com

By contrast, Dixon’s teammate Cheesy Charlie Kimball kept his nose clean to finish sixth, while rookie phenom Ed Jones finished a strong seventh for Dale Coyne. Hard charging Graham Rahal managed only an 8th place showing after being made to give up a spot early in the race for blocking. Marco was slapped for speeding in the pits and incredibly even Power was penalized for blocking.

It seems that while the Cap’n’s away, race control too will play.

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One thought on “Road America IndyCar Race Review: Dixon’s Cheese Edition

  1. Pingback: Iowa IndyCar Preview: A 7/8s Mile Slice of Heaven | Indy Race Reviewer: Fast And Funniness

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