Scott Dixon Wins Caution-Filled IndyCar Race; Honda Sweeps Podium in Detroit

scott dixon on pit row
Dixon Claims Second Win, Tops IndyCar PointsIndyCar / Chris Owens

The second year of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix's return to the Downtown Detroit layout led to a caution-filled, strategy-heavy race with no other than Scott Dixon as the winner on Sunday afternoon.

Dixon, known for being one of the most consistent drivers on the IndyCar grid, makes the most sense to survive an attrition-heavy race that saw so many of the 2024 championship contenders struggle. The race saw 8 cautions and 47 laps run under yellow, almost half of the 100-lap race. Very few drivers were left without damage and penalties. A pile-up in the first corner of the first lap set in motion a ping-pong effect that saw drivers oscillating between the front and back of the field due to strategy, rain, cautions, and contact.

There were 217 on-track passes and seven for the lead; the race felt like anyone's to win until Dixon took the lead with around 40 laps to go.


With Dixon's win, he moved to the top of the Championship standings on top of his teammate Alex Palou, who saw constant struggles throughout the 100 laps. After starting on the outside pole, Palou fell from second to eighth in the course of 15 laps, getting passed by a train of competitors after dealing with rear tire problems and ultimately turning down Detroit's unique duel pitlane to switch from scuffed alternate tires to fresh alternates. Palou would battle back before being caught up in a turn three incident with Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden ultimately finishing in 16th position.

The swing between first and second in the championship battle went from Dixon down 20 points to up 18 with his win and Palou's struggles.

"Obviously, it’s not good to see a teammate have a bad day; Alex had issues right from the start with burning the rears off the car," Dixon said in the post-race press conference, "Once you get back in that melee there, it can go one way, or another, and obviously, he got collected. If you look at a couple of the Penske guys and Herta, a lot of guys that you know you’re going to be racing for a championship had a pretty rough day today."

Dixon is not taking his second win of the season as a sign to coast; he knows that next week, as IndyCar goes to their fastest road course, the situation can easily be reversed with his competitors succeeding and him being the one caught in the chaos.

"We’ll see how it goes; it swings around a bit, and the same thing can happen next week at Road America," Dixon said, "We’ll just keep our heads down and try to get the most out of it."

Dixon led a quad of Hondas to the finish line in the shadow of General Motors headquarters (for the time being), crashing the party for Cheverlot's home race.

Marcus Ericsson, finishing second, secured Andretti's best finish of the year and was happy to see Honda rebound from a tough month of May, especially for the Swedish driver who narrowly made the 500 and crashed out on the first lap.

"It felt good to spoil the party for sure. I think Honda did a great job this weekend," Ericsson said post-race, "We had a tougher month of May than we would’ve liked. I know how hard they work at HRC, so Honda 1-2-3-4 it couldn’t be better for us."

Dixon and Ericsson were joined by Marcus Armstrong on the podium as the second Chip Ganassi driver and the second Marcus.

Armstrong was defending second place late until Ericsson found his way around the sophomore driver.

Kyle Kirkwood finished fourth after controlling the middle section of the race before losing ground on the consistent restarts.

Colton Herta, who led the first 33 laps after starting on the pole, ran into his first bout of bad luck while leading when the rain started and being shuffled back as his choice to come into the pits and change to rain tires was ill-timed with the constant barrage of cautions on the track.

Then, when the rain moved on the track quickly dried, Herta was attempting a difficult overtake going into turn five and couldn't control the turn on his wet tire. While not in contention for a win, he became the closest to spoiling Dixon's final segment while running in front a few laps short on fuel.

"Colton made it more difficult because the way that I might save fuel is going to be different to him," Dixon said, "He's getting me very out of sync, and you need free and clean air because you want a very positive front."

On the other side of Dixon leading Honda to a 1-2-3-4, he's two weeks removed from racing a Cadillac V-Series.R in his second Le Mans attempt alongside his teammate Alex Palou. Road & Track asked Dixon what it means to get a win in Detroit before representing the hometown manufacturer at Le Mans.

"It was cool to see Jim Campbell hand me the trophy today," Dixon answered Road & Track to a roar of laughter. "Obviously, they don't want to do that."

"With the IMSA racing this weekend too, I was on the stand and trying to support my teammates that I'll go to Le Mans with; what I think is very cool is that both manufacturers let you cross over. I know it's not an easy thing; it's difficult for them to let you do it. Probably more so for Honda because that's my real job, and my day job is IndyCar racing. I get to have some fun four or five times a year with Cadillac. I'm looking forward to it. Obviously, they have a great program. What Le Mans brings for us this year, who knows?"

"I said to Jim, hopefully, I didn't make you too angry, and I'll see him in a week or so."

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