Scott Dixon claimed his second IRL IndyCar Series victory of the year, capitalising on a rare mistake from Sam Hornish Jr to close the gap between the two at the head of the standings to just five points.

Dixon narrowly beat his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dan Wheldon to the line in Saturday's Firestone Indy 200 at the Nashville Superspeedway after inheriting the lead in the laps that followed Hornish's demise with some 70 of the 200 laps remaining.

The New Zealander then proceeded to hold off a sustained challenge from Wheldon and the resurgent Vitor Meira in the closing stages with Wheldon making several half attempts to get by his teammate in the final few laps around the 1.33-mile concrete Nashville oval.

However Dixon held firm to take his first win on an oval since his championship winning year in 2003 and reduce the deficit between him and Hornish Jr to five points at the head of the table.

Wheldon's runner-up finish keeps him fourth in the overall championship but the Englishman now finds himself less than 20 points behind Hornish Jr while Meira's fifth straight top six finish helps him into fifth place in the standings, 52 points behind Hornish Jr.

Danica Patrick put in one of her best performances of the season to take fourth place with Helio Castroneves rounding out the top five. Castroneves is third in the standings, six points behind his teammate.

Defending Nashville winner Dario Franchitti could only manage sixth place this time around with leading rookie Jeff Simmons seventh and Marco Andretti eighth.