Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon survived numerous caution periods as well as pre-race and late race rain showers to win the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix for the second successive year.
Dixon survived a rain-affected final restart to win a shortened 55-lap race by more than two seconds over Panther Racing's Vitor Meira with IRL IndyCar Series returnee Ryan Briscoe completing the podium for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
The 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International road course proved a massive challenge on an overcast day in upper state New York with more than half of the 19 car starting field sampling the scenery at one point or other. As a result of the excess spinnery the race was reduced by five laps in order to fit into the allotted two-hour time limit.
While Dixon was a contender throughout the race, several drivers will be ruing either mistakes by themselves, others or just plain misfortune with the way the caution periods fell.
Buddy Rice, one of many to spin, played the strategy game well to finish fourth with Felipe Giaffone taking AJ Foyt Racing's best result in several years with fifth place.
Ed Carpenter stayed out of trouble to finish sixth with polesitter Helio Castroneves seventh after getting caught out with the repeated intervention of the safety car.
Danica Patrick recovered from a final turn brush with the barriers to take eighth place while Tomas Scheckter led convincingly during the early stages and lost a guaranteed fourth place with a spin on the last lap.
Tony Kanaan was another contender for the win but spun twice in the closing stages as the rain that left the track soaked before the start returned for the final ten laps. The Brazilian Andretti-Green Racing driver finished eleventh, one place ahead of Sam Hornish Jr who also spun.
Dario Franchitti and mid-race leader Dan Wheldon both retired with mechanical problems with Wheldon breaking a half shaft as he left the pits following his final pitstop.
Indy 500 rookie sensation Marco Andretti was in sparkling form as he battled in and around the top five before being taken out by an errant Eddie Cheever on lap 39.