Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon racked up his fifth race win of the season - albeit his first on a road or street course - in Edmonton, leading the final 30 laps to extend his championship lead over Helio Castroneves.
The Kiwi now heads his closest Edmonton challenger by 65 points, up from an already comfortable pre-race 58, after seeing off the Brazilian in the closing stages on the airport circuit. Twice Castroneves looked to make a move to retake the lead, but twice he made a mistake, the second sending him deep into the turn one run-off, costing him any chance of catching Dixon, who eased to a near six-second win.
Dixon started fourth but quickly moved into the top three, before using some great pit work from his Ganassi crew on lap 51 to get ahead of the two front-running Penske machines.
"I sort of envisioned to probably make a move on [Oriol] Servia earlier on in the race, but it just didn't pan out," he said of his first move for position, "He was definitely quite a bit slower in race conditions but, as we came into the stop, I think we took on less fuel. The Target guys were also fantastic in the pits. That enabled us to get around him.
"The Penske guys.... Helio was definitely very quick all day and, out front, would have been pretty tough to beat. I think we had a comparable car when we were out front, we just probably wouldn't have been able to pass him on track. So, once again, we got behind [Ryan] Briscoe, saved a ton of fuel, combined with the guys in the pit-stop, and we jumped them both.
"That was definitely the key move of the race and they definitely earned that for me. From there on, we had to save a bit of fuel all the way to the end. I think we just had a bit better car to save fuel than Helio did. He was pushing a little bit in some sections. But we were pretty happy and pretty consistent with the car."
The win for Dixon was his first on a road course this season, and made him the fourth driver in IndyCar Series history to win five races in a season, one shy of the series record set by team-mate Dan Wheldon in 2005.
"It's fantastic," the Kiwi enthused, "I think, at this point in the championship battle, it's a must-have for Team Target. Helio has been very strong in the last two races. He's been trying to chase us down, but we were able to make a small gain on him this weekend. At this point, I think a 65-point lead is pretty strong, but we just have to keep on it for the next four races.
"We need to be consistent and continue to earn points, but this win was definitely a turn for us in the championship. I've got to thank the team, as we were struggling at the start of the weekend. We were probably, at best, about eleventh, so to come through is simply not what we expected. But my guys nailed that [last] pit-stop and we got that lead. From there, we were going to be unstoppable.”