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Scott Dixon © Getty Images

Kiwi Dixon wins Indycar Detroit opener



New Zealand's Scott Dixon won the first race of this weekend's IndyCar double-header in Detroit on Saturday, tying Michael Andretti for third on the all-time victory list.

Dixon, in his 18th season of IndyCar competition, notched his 42nd career victory as he took the chequered flag on the 14-turn 2.35-mile (3.78 Km) circuit on Belle Isle 1.8249sec ahead of American Ryan Hunter-Reay.

The only drivers with more wins than Dixon and Andretti are Indy legends AJ Foyt with 67 and Mario Andretti with 52.

Dixon, coming off a third-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 won by Australian Will Power, also set an IndyCar record by winning a race in his 14th consecutive season.

Dixon, who started from the second spot on the grid in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, grabbed the lead when pole-sitter Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport made his first pit stop.

Dixon led 39 of the 70 laps en route to his second victory at the track where he won in 2012, finishing in 1hr 39min 24.6189sec to claim his first triumph of 2018.

"It's big," Dixon said. "It's nice to get that first win out of the way. We came up a little short in the last few races ... it's always good to be back in the winner's circle."

He'll have a chance to double his win tally in the second race of the weekend on Sunday.

Hunter-Reay led a trio of Andretti Autosport drivers across the finish line, with teammate Alexander Rossi placing third and Marco Andretti fourth. The top six finishers were all in Honda-powered cars.

Rossi seized the third podium spot with a bold pass of Andretti on the final restart from a caution and with it the season points lead on 276 points. Dixon is second in the standing on 272 and Power dropped from first to third on 269 points with a seventh-placed finish.

Graham Rahal, who dominated at Detroit last year, ran near the front for much of the race but lost control on lap 47 and hit the wall but escaped injury.

indycar Detroit Grand Prix, FIRST OF TWO RACES :

1. Scott Dixon (NZL) 70 laps in 1hr 39min 24.6189sec (average speed 99.285 mph/159.78 Km/h)

2. Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA) 1:39:26.4438

3. Alexander Rossi (USA) 1:39:28.7960

4. Marco Andretti (USA) 1:39:36.1380

5. Takuma Sato (JPN) 1:39:36.4946

6. Ed Jones (UAE) 1:39:38.3838

7. Will Power (AUS) 1:39:39.6922

8. Robert Wickens (CAN) 1:39:46.0904

9. Josef Newgarden (USA) 1:39:46.1811

10. Spencer Pigot (USA) 1:39:46.5712

SERIES STANDINGS AFTER SEVEN OF 17 RACES:

1. Alexander Rossi (USA) 276 points, 2. Scott Dixon (NZL) 272, 3. Will Power (AUS) 269, 4. Josef Newgarden (USA) 255, 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA) 227



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