Reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon became the first driver to win for the second time in 2009, taking the chequered flag in the ABC Supply/AJ Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile after long-time leader - and 2008 race winner - Ryan Briscoe was momentarily caught up in traffic.

By winning, Dixon took over the points lead for the first time since the end of the 2008 season, having clawed his way back from a disappointing start to his title defence.

It was Briscoe who dominated the race, however, leading 154 laps after passing early pacesetter Tony Kanaan on lap 26, but the Australian got caught up in lapped traffic on the tight Milwaukee circuit and, with Tomas Scheckter briefly taking his attention, Dixon seized the opportunity, passing for the lead with 24 laps remaining.

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"I was trying to get the flow of traffic the whole day," revealed the Kiwi, who won earlier this season on the 1.5-mile oval at Kansas Speedway, "I definitely think that, from the start, our car was better. We could run quick times when we needed to, and we were good in traffic.

"We had many runs on Briscoe, but he kind of blocked a lot. That was kind of frustrating early on, but he definitely got caught up there, with Scheckter trying to take him on the bottom, and I got a great run on the high side and it just lined up perfect."

Briscoe earned three bonus points for winning the pole and leading the most laps, and has led laps in four races this season, more than any other driver.

"It was a great race, but Scott was just a little bit better than me at the end there," the Penske man admitted, "I was struggling with a little bit of understeer and, whenever I'd get on the inside, I'd really lose my momentum.

"It was a great job by Scott though. He was there all day long and took the opportunity to pass me when I got slowed up.

Dixon now holds a four-point advantage over Briscoe and Target Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Dario Franchitti in the championship race, but other contenders were not so lucky.

Kanaan, despite snatching the lead on the opening lap, was eventually classified 19th after his car suffered a fiery engine failure, the first time he has finished outside the top four in six races at Milwaukee.

Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, whose success at the Brickyard had catapulted him up the overall order, finished eleventh after struggling to overcome the legacy of his qualifying crash.

Franchitti also took his turn at the front, but eventually finished third - his third top five finish of the season - after being similarly baulked while running second. While Briscoe had already advanced, team-mate Dixon took advantage when the #10 was delayed by Robert Doornbos.

"The hard thing was lapped cars - it was all about traffic and timing your passes right," the Scot conceded, "My guys did a great job and got me out in the lead on the green flag stop, but then I just mistimed a pass, someone took my air off and that was it - back to third again.

"I really tried hard to pass Briscoe at the end but, again, when he was taking my air, there was nothing I can do. It was a tough day, but the Milwaukee Mile produces close racing and you're really fighting that lapped traffic all day."

Graham Rahal finished fourth, with Danica Patrick finished fifth for her fourth consecutive top five finish.

"It was good to bring the McDonald's car home as, obviously, that was the goal," said Rahal, who started on the front row for the second time in two visits to Milwaukee, "We finished fourth, and we're really happy with that, but we're obviously still disappointed because we thought the McDonald's car was the one to beat this weekend. When you're so close, it's disappointing not to do it.

"On the last restart, we had five lapped cars between us, and that's really the decider because it's hard to get around them. By the time we got around them, we were seven seconds behind the lead pack. We had a good pace and we made up some of that, but you're not going to be able to make up all of that being a tenth-of-a-second faster a lap."

Rookie Raphael Matos bounced back from his Indianapolis shut to earn a career-best sixth-place finish, while Marco Andretti, Hideki Mutoh, Mario Moraes and Dan Wheldon completed the top ten. Scheckter finished 13th on his first 2009 outing with Dreyer & Reinbold, while Paul Tracy could only managed 17th overall since rejoining the fray with AJ Foyt Racing.