Scott Dixon/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet won the GoPro Sonoma GP IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway Sunday. He led the most laps and on Lap 50 he took over the points lead with his bonus points. It was the first time all season Juan Pablo Montoya/No.2 Verizon Team Penske didn’t lead the standings. There was a mathematical chance the two could tie for points at the end of this race, but Dixon would win on the tie breaker of having more race victories. Each driver had two wins coming into this race, but Dixon winning Sonoma tipped the scales in his favor. Montoya won a previous championship on a tie with Dario Frachitti at Fontana.
Dixon said “This is just fantastic for Target and Chevy as well! I don’t know what to say. I was counting cars, watching where JPM was. Man, I can’t believe it.”
It is the fourth indycar championship for Dixon, with previous wins in 2003, 2008 and 2013. The Sonoma win was his 38th career win – putting him fifth on the all-time list. Dixon has driven for Chip Ganassi for the past 14 years. It’s Ganassi’s 100th indycar win and his eleventh championship.
Finishing second was Ryan Hunter-Reay/No.28 DHL Andretti Autosport Honda, 6.1115 seconds behind.
Left to Right: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Charlie Kimball, and Tony Kanaan. Photos by Pablo Matamoros.
Third through fifth were Charlie Kimball/No.83 Novolog Flex Pen Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Chevrolet; Dixon’s teammate, Tony Kanaan/No.10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet; and Ryan Briscoe/No.5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.
Montoya finished sixth. He said “It’s just a shame. Just threw it away. We had a competitive car and just didn’t do it. When you have double points for the final race, it doesn’t matter what you do all year. Dixon had a s**t season and one good race. It’s not fair, but if you don’t like the rules, don’t race. I did everything I could and I had 45 laps to figure it out.” Montoya won the 2015 Indianapolis 500, which was also a double points race.
There were ten lead changes, seven race leaders, 170 passes, and the average race speed was 93.117 mph.
Chevrolet’s Manufacturer’s Points were 1631, with Honda having 1147, giving Chevrolet its fourth consecutive IndyCar Manufacturer’s Championship. Chevrolet also won the 2015 Indianapolis 500 and the 2015 Driver’s Championship – a clean sweep.
More to follow.