Dixon, Newgarden Win IndyCar Twins at Gateway

Saturday and Sunday saw a pair of NTT IndyCar Series races held around the World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Scott Dixon won Saturday’s 200-lapper while Josef Newgarden claimed the victory on Sunday.

Weekend Advance

The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 weekend marked the first on-track action following the 104th Indianapolis 500.

Entering the eighth and ninth races of the 2020 IndyCar season, Scott Dixon held an 84-point lead over Josef Newgarden. Rookie Pato O’Ward sat third, 117 points behind.

Practice

Several cars drive down the front stretch at WWT Raceway (Credit: Chris Owen/IndyCar Media).

O’Ward led the Friday practice session from the Madison, IL. track with a lap average of 181.532MPH. O’Ward led Will Power, Dixon, Conor Daly, and Takuma Sato in the top five positions on speed.

The session was a 60-minute affair for all drivers, while rookies and drivers with no Gateway IndyCar experience were given an extra 30 minutes of track-time. O’Ward did get the extra time but set his fastest lap with just eight minutes remaining.

Gateway Practice Results (PDF).

Qualifying

An unprecedented doubleheader weekend on an oval called for a unique qualifying format. The format was previously used at Iowa Speedway last month.

The unique qualifying style was on display Saturday morning from the 1.25-mile oval outside of St. Louis. The procedure is simple when it becomes broken down. Driver’s first lap in qualifying marked their speed for the opening race, while their second lap determined their speed for the second race.

Will Power and Pato O’Ward turned the fastest two laps for Saturday’s race, with Power earning his 59th career pole award. For Sunday’s race, Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato won the pole — his 10th career pole award. Josef Newgarden started alongside.

Saturday Starting Lineup (PDF).

Sunday Starting Lineup (PDF).

Race 1 Recap

Dixon won his 50th race in his IndyCar career on Saturday.

Start

The start of Saturday’s Bommarito 500 was moved forward several minutes due to the threat of rain. When the green flag flew, several drivers hopped out of line coming the to green, including Alex Palou. Simon Pagenaud followed him but was tagged by Oliver Askew in the rear.

Rossi and Pagenaud spin as the Bommarito 500 on Saturday starts. (Credit: James Black/IndyCar Media).

Alexander Rossi also spun into the wall. Zach Veach, who started last on the grid, appeared to accelerate right into the crash, driving right into his teammates of Marco Andretti, Rossi, and even hitting Ed Carpenter. All drivers aforementioned were unable to finish Saturday’s race, with Rossi and Andretti officially out before even taking the green.

Finish

O’Ward had lead 94 laps as the field was making their final pit stops under green flag conditions. Dixon joined him on the pit lane, as they ran 1-2 at the time. Dixon’s PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing team beat O’Ward off the pit lane, giving Dixon the eventual top position once the field cycled. However, Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s strategy made it closer.

RLL’s No. 30 team had Sato go longer than any other driver, trying to “overcut” Dixon and O’Ward. Sato went 14 laps longer than the two leaders, and when leaving the pit lane, was right behind O’Ward.

Sato made a brave move passing O’Ward on the outside of the first turn. The two-time Indy 500 champion soon chased down the 5-time series champion to battle for the win.

Sato pressured Dixon in the final laps, but Dixie was able to hold on for his 50th-career IndyCar victory. He sits only two wins behind Mario Andretti for second-place on the All-Time IndyCar wins list.

Scott Dixon poses with his team celebrating his fifty career wins (Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar Media).

Bommarito Automotive 500 No. 1 Results (PDF).

Race 2 Recap

Josef Newgarden won Sunday’s 200-lapper.

Start

The start of Sunday’s Bommarito 500 was delayed for nearly 20 minutes after track rented equipment leaked oil around the entire 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval.

Sato ran away with the lead and the biggest issue of the weekend became apparent. 

The polesitter led the first 59 laps, pitting on lap 60. But at that time, Sato was unable to get passed by any competitor and struggled in lapped traffic. Passing was difficult the entire weekend but was a severe factor Sunday.

Finish

Newgarden was leading ahead of Pato O’Ward late as the Tennesee driver struggled in traffic. The Mexican rookie kept pressuring Newgarden but O’Ward’s shot was ended early.

The crazy amount of lapped traffic forced Sato into a mistake exiting the second turn. Sato’s No. 30 ABeam Honda smacked the outside wall, causing IndyCar to throw the caution with just four laps remaining.

Like Indianapolis, race control was unable to reorganize the field in time to safely restart the race in time.

Newgarden was able to capture his 16th-career IndyCar Series victory. O’Ward’s runner-up finish is already his 3rd-career Podium finish.

Newgarden poses with the trophy at World Wide Technology Raceway on Sunday (Credit: Joe Skibinski/IndyCar Media).

Point leader Dixon finished fifth.

Bommarito Automotive 500 No. 2 Results (PDF).

Standings

After Saturday’s race, Dixon had a 117-point buffer over Newgarden, but following the weekend, Newgarden brought the point gap below 100.

Pos.: Driver [Points/Behind]

1: Scott Dixon [416]

2: Josef Newgarden [-96]

3: Pato O’Ward [-119]

4: Takuma Sato [-139]

5: Colton Herta [-165]

6: Simon Pagenaud [-179]

7: Graham Rahal [-180]

8: Will Power [-190]

9: Santino Ferrucci [-200]

10: Felix Rosenqvist [-208]

Full Championship Standings (PDF).

acoon9919@gmail.com'
Adam Coon

At 17 years old and attending high school, I have spent my weekends and free time covering motorsports on my Instagram page since July 2016. From Upstate New York, I am a devoted racing fan always looking to meet more people who share the same love I do.

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