Dixon breaks through at Indianapolis with victory in GP

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Race driver Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, celebrates with the trophy after winning the IndyCar auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, July 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS – It took Scott Dixon 12 years to make a second trip to victory lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He's already plotting a third trip next month.

The 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner ended what had been a frustrating quest for a second win at the Brickyard, beating Graham Rahal to the checkered flag by 19.9469 seconds Saturday and claiming his first IndyCar Grand Prix title.

“It’s really nice to get another win at Indianapolis even though it’s not the big one,” Dixon said. “It is significant, man, to win at this place. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck and sometimes you need a clean race like we had today.”

The atmosphere at Indy was subdued.

Dixon donned a face mask as he raised his arms and pumped his fist inside the recently redone winner's circle. The stands were empty and the usual celebratory noise was almost nonexistent.

But after three consecutive runner-up finishes in this race and a resume full of near-misses and bad luck on Indy's 2.5-mile oval, Dixon was going to have some fun, and he appeared to savor one of the rare spoils of victory — giving the starting command for NASCAR's inaugural Xfinity Series race on the road course.

Dixon couldn't have scripted a better strategy for the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course, either.