Kiwi Dixon captures third straight IndyCar race to start season

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Scott Dixon became the first IndyCar driver since 2006 to open the season with three straight wins on Saturday by capturing the first race of a weekend doubleheader at Road America.

The Kiwi took the checkered flag by beating Will Power by 2.538 seconds in the first race of the season that allowed fans to attend.

Alex Palou finished third while Ryan Hunter-Reay and Colton Herta rounded out the top five at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Dixon has won each of the three IndyCar races in the pandemic-delayed season, winning last month's season opener in Texas and last Saturday on the Indianapolis road course.

A.J. Foyt (1964) and Al Unser (1971) are the only other drivers to open an IndyCar season with at least three consecutive wins. Foyt won the first seven races of the 1964 season.

Coronavirus delayed the start of the campaign from March and forced the Indianapolis 500 to be delayed until August 23.

Rescheduling has also created three two-race weekends, the first at Road America -- where a limited number of spectators were allowed -- and the second next week at Iowa.

Dixon can make it four in a row with another victory on Sunday in Elkhart Lake.

Dixon, who has the most consecutive starts among active IndyCar drivers with 261, has 49 career series victories, three shy of Mario Andretti for second on the all-time list.

Pole-sitter Josef Newgarden lost a comfortable race lead and dropped out of top 10 after stalling twice during his second pit stop. That opened the door for Dixon to duel for the lead with his Team Penske teammate Power.

American Alexander Rossi won last year's lone Road America race.