Scott Dixon moves into second place on IndyCar's all-time wins list with victory in Nashville

·3 min read

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It was more of the same Sunday for the second annual IndyCar Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, which again was filled with wrecks, mishaps and caution flags.

Chaos ruled the day even after organizers attempted to improve the unique 2.17-mile track hoping for a cleaner race.

After nearly a two-hour weather delay, six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon handled the drama the best and won the 80-lap race on the streets of downtown Nashville.

Dixon started 14th and fell to 23rd where he was rear-ended before charging back to lead the final 15 laps and claim his second win of the season.

"It was a wild day," Dixon said. "We had a good start; things were going well; and we came in for the first stop and went all the way to the back and got into the chaos on turn five or six and hit pretty hard. The car was bent and broken, but for us to take no tires on the last stop was probably the key."

Dixon moved to second in the point standings behind Will Power.

The victory also moved Dixon to second all-time in IndyCar wins with 53. He passed Mario Andretti, who had 52, and trails A.J. Foyt with 67.

Pole winner Scott McLaughlin pushed Dixon late before finishing second. It was the fourth-closest margin of victory in IndyCar road course series history at .1067 seconds.

McLaughlin said he had the momentum at the end.

"If we had one more lap; I was alongside of him, so I think I would have passed him and I would've won the race," McLaughlin said. "If it was an 86-lap race, I would have won."

Alex Palou was third, followed by Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta.

Hometown favorite Josef Newgarden finished sixth. He led 12 laps before having to pit for tires on lap 65.

Newgarden passed three cars on a late restart but also pushed Romain Grosjean into the wall, causing the last caution flag.

The 2021 race had six wrecks, nine caution flags, 33 laps run under caution and two red flags. Sunday's race had eight wrecks, eight caution flags, 36 laps run under caution and one red flag, which came with four laps left.

Ten cars were knocked out of the race, including Pato O'Ward, who was fourth in the point standings. 

As many mishaps as there were, Dixon said the changes to the course made for a better race.

"The adjustments they did this year, especially the transitions on and off the (Korean War Veterans Memorial) bridge, were huge," Dixon said. "It was much easier to get into Turn 4. It's the second race here. I don't know why there's so many cautions here. It is very slippery offline, and I don't know why that is."

Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville.
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville.

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McLaughlin also downplayed difficulties on the track.

"It's not fun when you lose out on yellows in a close race, but it's as much of a driving issue as it is a track issue," he said. "I don't blame the track at all. I think the track's a great track. Yes, it's tight. Yes you've got to be assertive when you pass. But sometimes people just don't give up and that's what happens."

The 2021 Music City Grand Prix winner, Marcus Ericsson, was among the victims. He pulled out while running 11th with five laps left.

Along with Newgarden and Dixon, lap leaders included Alex Palou (31) and McLaughlin (22).

Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWrtier.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Scott Dixon wins IndyCar Music City Grand Prix in Nashville