ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Scott Dixon raced to his third straight victory Saturday with an unbelievable triumph within the opener of a weekend doubleheader at Street America, as IndyCar welcomed followers to its races for the primary time this season.
Dixon has received every of the three IndyCar races within the pandemic-delayed season. He is the primary IndyCar driver to start out a season with a minimum of three consecutive victories since Sebastien Bourdais reeled off 4 straight to start out the 2006 marketing campaign.
The one different drivers to open an IndyCar season with a minimum of three straight victories are A.J. Foyt (seven in 1964) and Al Unser (three in 1971).
This marked the primary time spectators had been allowed at an IndyCar occasion this season after they weren’t permitted at races at Fort Value or Indianapolis. IndyCar is treating every occasion individually and following native and state well being rules at every monitor because it decides whether or not to permit followers.
“It is so cool to be again on a monitor with followers,” Dixon mentioned. “And there is tons of them right here at this time.”‘
Saturday’s race took drivers 55 laps round a course that is simply over four miles lengthy with 14 turns.
Dixon certified ninth Saturday for his worst beginning place of the younger season, as he’d began second in Fort Value and seventh in Indianapolis. He wasn’t an element early on this one as Josef Newgarden was in command for the primary half of the race.
Newgarden had grabbed the pole place earlier within the day and appeared on his solution to profitable at Street America for the second time in three years till he stalled popping out of his second pit cease and fell again within the pack. He ended up 14th.
Energy owned a slim lead over Dixon when Jack Harvey went off the monitor to supply a warning flag with 17 laps remaining. Dixon pulled forward of Energy popping out of the pits on the restart and stayed forward after two extra warning flags.
The second warning flag got here when Conor Daly slid off the course after making contact with Pato O’Ward, knocking Daly out of the race and wrecking his Chevy. The ultimate one got here when Dalton Kellett went off track.
Dixon’s newest victory was the 49th of his profession, placing the New Zealander him behind solely Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52).
Street America’s setup made it a really perfect venue for IndyCar to start out permitting followers. The sprawling, 640-acre structure surrounding the course permits followers to observe social distancing and roam the property fairly than crowding right into a grandstand.
“Since we have been right here earlier than, we all know there’s loads of room,” mentioned Jason Shelley of Indianapolis, who mentioned he normally attends 4 or 5 IndyCar races annually. “It is type of like watching a race in a state park, so that is the one place the place I really feel comfy and secure as a result of I do know I can get away from folks. I am not going to be stacked on high of individuals. That is why we got here.”
Steve Lemon, a fan from Kankakee, Illinois, who normally attends about three races a 12 months, mentioned that “if it had been an oval, we would not have gone.”
Followers acquired temperature checks at gates and acquired masks and hand sanitizer as they entered.
Sporting a masks was inspired however not required, and a stroll by way of alongside the Street America property indicated the vast majority of spectators had been spending a minimum of a part of the time unmasked.
“All of the workers and drivers and all people are carrying masks, however I do not suppose the followers are fairly pretty much as good about it,” mentioned Jim Cossaart, a spectator from Bristol, Vermont. “Human nature, I suppose.”
IndyCar additionally plans to have spectators subsequent weekend for a doubleheader in Iowa, the place the oval monitor has grandstands. IndyCar is hoping followers will fill 50% of the speedway’s capability for the Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23.