Sato denies dominant Dixon Indy 500 victory - The Race
IndyCar

Sato denies dominant Dixon Indy 500 victory

Aug 23 2020
By Matt Beer

Takuma Sato claimed his second Indianapolis 500 victory in a race mostly dominated by Scott Dixon.

A huge late crash for Spencer Pigot meant the event finished under yellow, at a point where Sato was just about managing to keep the pursuing Dixon and Graham Rahal at arm’s length.

Fernando Alonso had a troubled run to a lapped 21st, in what will be his last Indy 500 for at least two years.

Dixon had taken control of the race immediately and at times led by as much as 10 seconds, only losing the lead when pit strategies diverged or when he deliberately allowed main rivals Sato and Alexander Rossi to pass him so he could save fuel in their slipstream.

Indianapolis 500 2020

After the final stops, it came down to Ganassi driver Dixon just ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Sato, with Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal just behind.

As Newgarden began to fall away, Sato passed Dixon around the outside at Turn 1 with 27 laps to go in what proved to be the pass that secured the win.

Dixon’s best shot at retaliating came 14 laps later but Sato successfully defended and then made a small break.

He was maintaining a slight cushion over Dixon and Rahal through lapped traffic with four laps left when Pigot – driving for the new Rahal-affiliated Citrone Buhl team – lost control at the final corner and had a huge impact with the end of the pitwall. He got out of the car with assistance from the medical crew, and was released unhurt after checks in the medical centre.

Santino Ferrucci was also a factor in the lead battle late on and beat Newgarden to fourth.

Alonso was never in contention near the front, with handling issues and electrical problems affecting him throughout his run to 21st.

But his Arrow McLaren SP team-mates Oliver Askew and Pato O’Ward were much more competitive.

Askew led for a spell after going out of sequence on pitstops early on, though he ultimately crashed heavily when taking evasive action as Conor Daly spun on a restart.

O’Ward finished sixth ahead of James Hinchcliffe, Colton Herta, Jack Harvey and early frontrunner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Rossi was another potential winner who crashed out. He had fought back from an aborted pitstop – caused by the call to pit coming too late because the team’s overheating pitwall equipment had to be reset – to battle Dixon up front but was then put to the back of the pack as a punishment for pitlane contact with Sato. The crash came as he attempted to fight back through the field.

Simon Pagenaud Penske damage Indy 500 2020

Last year’s winner Simon Pagenaud also had a shot at victory as he, Askew, Will Power and Helio Castroneves led a group of off-sequence cars. That strategy was spoilt by the timing of yellows even before Pagenaud sustained damage in a brush with Hunter-Reay. He finished 22nd.

Polesitter Marco Andretti fell back steadily through the race and finished only 13th.

Rookie Rinus VeeKay lived up to his qualifying form with some bold early moves and strong initial pace but a pitstop in which he clipped crew members – who were unhurt – led to a penalty that consigned him to 20th at the flag.

His team boss Ed Carpenter’s race barely got going before a touch with Zach Veach forced a long pitstop for repairs.

Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson both had solo crashes having been top-10 contenders, while the race’s first retirement was the most bizarre – James Davison covering just four laps before his right-front wheel caught fire in dramatic fashion due to an apparent brake issue.

Race Results

Pos Name Team Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 200 27 3h10m05.088s 40.524s 5 0
2 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 200 111 +0.057s 40.793s 5 0
3 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 200 0 +0.095s 40.792s 5 0
4 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Dallara DW12-Honda 200 1 +0.392s 40.722s 5 0
5 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 200 0 +1.661s 40.698s 5 0
6 Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 200 0 +3.249s 40.576s 5 0
7 James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 200 1 +4.269s 40.329s 5 0
8 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 200 1 +5.191s 40.712s 5 0
9 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 200 0 +6.813s 40.654s 5 0
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 200 0 +7.961s 40.6s 5 0
11 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 200 0 +10.314s 40.789s 7 0
12 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 200 8 +13.966s 40.746s 6 0
13 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian Dallara DW12-Honda 200 0 +16.065s 40.998s 5 0
14 Will Power Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 200 2 +17.643s 41.005s 6 0
15 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 200 14 +19.396s 40.718s 6 0
16 J.R. Hildebrand Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 200 0 +20.234s 41.431s 8 0
17 Max Chilton Carlin Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 200 0 +21.491s 41.317s 9 0
18 Charlie Kimball A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 200 0 +24.701s 40.718s 6 0
19 Tony Kanaan A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 199 0 +1 lap 40.976s 5 0
20 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 199 0 +1 lap 40.397s 7 0
21 Fernando Alonso Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 199 0 +1 lap 41.157s 7 0
22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 198 14 +2 laps 40.54s 9 0
23 Benjamin Hanley DragonSpeed Dallara DW12-Honda 198 0 +2 laps 41.695s 9 0
24 Sage Karam Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 198 0 +2 laps 41.235s 8 0
Spencer Pigot Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Citrone/Buhl Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 194 0 DNF 40.984s 6 0
26 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 187 0 +13 laps 41.041s 8 0
Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 143 17 DNF 41.039s 4 0
Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Dallara DW12-Honda 121 0 DNF 40.52s 3 0
Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 91 0 DNF 41.097s 3 0
Oliver Askew Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 91 0 DNF 41.037s 4 0
Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 82 DNF 41.874s 2 0
Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 24 DNF 41.38s 0 0
James Davison Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing, Byrd and Belardi Auto Racing Dallara DW12-Honda 4 DNF 43.962s 0 0
Takuma Sato wins 2020 Indianapolis 500

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