Dixon survives incident-filled Nashville race to claim victory

Dixon did not avoid all the carnage, but was still savvy enough to win in Nashville. Photo: IndyCar

The second installment of the Music City Grand Prix was just as full of incidents as the inaugural running last year, and produced a battle for survival as much as it did for position.

Having to dodge numerous wrecks throughout the lengthy race, it was Scott Dixon that masterfully put his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda in victory lane.

The drive was anything but easy, as the veteran was involved in one of the early collisions, made six stops in pit lane, and had a hard-charging Scott McLaughlin on his tail for the final few laps.

Ever the cool driver behind the wheel, Dixon rolled to victory lane over two hours after he took the green flag from the 14th position.

McLaughlin led 22 laps from pole, and nearly worked his way around Dixon for the win, but ran out of laps and could not quite get the job done, finishing just 0.107 seconds behind.

Alex Palou crossed the line in third with lingering front wing damage, and was able to make passes all the way up through the final lap to earn his fourth podium of the season.

Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta rounded out the top five, with each also recovering from rather large collisions early in the race.

It truly was a race of attrition, and many incidents filled the 80-lap race.  The biggest crash happened on lap 26, when an entire line of cars stacked up in the tight section of the track.

With nowhere to go once the collisions started in front, eight drivers picked up damage and four of those had to retire on the spot including Pato O’Ward, Graham Rahal, Simona De Silvestro, and Dalton Kellett.

The large incident was far from the only one, and there were a total of eight caution periods and one red flag, and 11 drivers that had to retire due to damage incurred.

Of the drivers that were actually able to complete all 80 laps, hardly anyone finished with an undamaged car.

David Malukas put on a show throughout the afternoon, and completed multiple impressive passes on his competitors.  The rookie’s consistent drive did not help his result, however, as he was caught up in a late collision and was knocked out of the race as well.

Will Power looked like he would be able to earn a good result, but his car was never quite right after the early collisions.  He had to manually shift for the later portion of the race without electronics assistance, and was overrun, but narrowly maintained his points lead.

There was so much action at every corner of the track that it was easy to forget that the whole event was delayed nearly two hours due to thunderstorms in the area.

Teams will leave Nashville with rather large repair bills, and have a week off to get ready for the final stretch.  With only three races remaining in the season, there is no time to look backwards.

The next race on the calendar will be from Gateway just outside St. Louis on August 20, for a Saturday night oval race under the lights.

# Driver Time / Gap Laps Led
1 Scott Dixon 02:06:24.2439 15
2 Scott McLaughlin -0.1067 22
3 Alex Palou -0.6100 31
4 Alexander Rossi -0.9412
5 Colton Herta -1.3942
6 Josef Newgarden -2.1828 12
7 Felix Rosenqvist -2.8426
8 Christian Lundgaard -3.2724
9 Simon Pagenaud -4.4000
10 Jack Harvey -5.1560
11 Will Power -6.7843
12 Rinus VeeKay -1 lap
13 Helio Castroneves -1 lap
14 Marcus Ericsson -4 laps
15 Callum Ilott -4 laps
16 Romain Grosjean -5 laps
17 Conor Daly -6 laps
18 Jimmie Johnson -8 laps
19 Kyle Kirkwood -17 laps
20 David Malukas -17 laps
21 Takuma Sato -48 laps
22 Devlin DeFrancesco -48 laps
23 Graham Rahal -51 laps
24 Pato O’Ward -55 laps
25 Dalton Kellett -55 laps
26 Simona De Silvestro -55 laps

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