Scott Dixon pulls off a masterclass at Long Beach

Scott Dixon pulled off a fuel-saving masterclass at Long Beach and leaves with a race win

Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon

In the second points-scoring round of the 2024 IndyCar season, after Alex Palou won $500,000 almost a month ago in California the drivers return to the west coast for a race around the streets of Long Beach.

Felix Rosenqvist took pole position for this race, but it was Scott Dixon who took the race win and the full 50 Championship points.

The podium was completed by Colton Herta and Alex Palou. With the top five featuring Josef Newgarden and Marcus Ericsson.

Will Power, Kyle Kirkwood, Romain Grosjean, Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top ten.

Coming into this race Josef Newgarden led the Championship after winning the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg.

One big news story coming into this weekend was that Theo Pourchaire was replacing Callum Ilott in the number six Arrow Mclaren. The 2023 Formula Two World Champion has not had a shot at Formula One yet but is taking his next best opportunity with an IndyCar drive.

After the lights went out it was Will Power who got an early lead and pulled out 2.5 seconds over the rest of the field after only five laps.

Power's lead was largely due to the speed that he could carry through the corners around the streets of Long Beach. At the same time that Power was impressing at the front Pourchaire was impressing further back. The IndyCar rookie got in the car for the first time this weekend and was already the lead McLaren after 14 laps because of a crash between Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi.

Lap 15 saw a big crash and the first caution of the race as Christian Rasmussen found his way into the barrier and caused damage to Jack Harvey at the same time.

After the caution Power was down to 12th place with the Championship leader Josef Newgarden at the front on his 200th IndyCar start. Race leader Newgarden came in on lap 31 for new Alternate tyres, along with Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean.

Tyre and fuel saving became a massive factor at Long Beach with half the grid on one strategy and half the grid on another. Scott Dixon was in control of the race at half-race distance with Power a few seconds behind him.

Lap 51 saw Dixon and Power dive into the pits with Mclaughlin, Armstrong and Lundqvist. Newgarden, Herta and Palou were the new leading trio after the front two stopped.

On lap 59 Newgarden pitted for the final time and had a clean stop, coming out back in front of Power who was on the alternate strategy, but behind of Dixon. However, it was Herta who now led the race from Palou and Rossi.

With 24 laps to go Dixon got the lead over Newgarden but the latter was throwing caution to the wind as he was flying after the #9 car.

15 laps to go and Dixon was under a lot of pressure from Newgarden as the gap between the two drivers had dropped down to one second.

Ten laps left and a caution was looming as the back markers were becoming desperate to gain positions. Dixon still had the lead by 0.6 seconds, but Newgarden now was not alone in chasing the leader down as Herta and Palou were joining the party.

Disaster struck for Newgarden as he stalled after getting hit by Herta. Dixon increased his lead up to 1.6 seconds but now Herta was running in second place with Palou third.

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