Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon once again made the most of an IndyCar race marred in chaos to emerge the wily victor of Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix, even if it was just by a whisker.

In a thrilling display of quick-thinking strategy orchestrated by CGR mastermind Mike Hull, Dixon managed to stretch his fuel mileage to prevail in the caution-filled event held on the streets of Motor City.

But the six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion’s edge over fellow Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson was just 0.856 seconds at the checkered flag!

The Andretti Global charger’s runner-up spot was his best result of the season, while Marcus Armstrong – also driving for CGR – secured his first-ever podium finish with a third-place showing.

The opening stages of the race were a blur of yellow flags. Eight cautions materialized in the first 73 laps of 100 resulting in 47 laps under caution! The longest stretch of uninterrupted racing was 13 laps.

The constant disruption sent strategists scrambling on the pit wall. Forced to make split-second decisions over the radio with their drivers, their heads were surely spinning!

The turning point for Dixon and Hull came when they opted to pit under a caution on lap 56 of 100, the Kiwi and Hull gambling that enough yellow flags would keep the race bunched up, allowing them to conserve fuel and make it to the checkered flag.

The risky strategy paid off perfectly as two more caution periods materialized after Dixon’s stop, giving him the fuel advantage he needed to hold off a fast-closing Ericsson and claim victory.

©IndyCar

“The team called it perfectly,” Dixon said. “We were on the right strategy. We won, man. How cool is that?

“It’s just always the variables. Trying to stay out of trouble, trying to keep your car on track. We had rain. It was all over the shop out there.

“You had no idea how the transitions were going to fall or even the strategy. So stoked for everyone on the team. That was cool.”

For his part, Ericsson was delighted to rebound after his dismal luck at the Indy 500 the weekend before.

“After the Month of May we had, it was really, really tough mentally,” said the Andretti Global driver. “I’m new in this team. I want to show myself as a top driver, as they hired me as. It was really important.

“We had so much pace. One more lap, and we might have been able to get that win. But great day.”

Andretti Global’s Marcus Ericsson (©IndyCar).

Dixon’s victory has propelled him to the championship lead, 18 points ahead of teammate Alex Palou.

The win also marks the Kiwi’s second of the season following his triumph at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.

The 43-year-old 58th career win in IndyCar puts him just nine wins behind the 67-win tally of living legend A.J. Foyt.

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