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Dixon picks up third straight IndyCar win

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

Scott Dixon escaped a mishap in front of him that put a crimp in Danica Patrick’s hopes and hung near the leaders before moving in front late to pick up his third straight IndyCar Series victory, winning the Honda Indy 200 on Sunday in Lexington, Ohio.

Dixon’s win tightened the race in the drivers points standings. Trailing Dario Franchitti, who finished second, by 65 points before the streak began, Dixon is behind by 24 with five races left.

Dixon, sixth in qualifying, took the lead for good on lap 77 of the 85-lap race when Franchitti took a delayed pit stop. Dixon was never threatened to the finish, taking his ninth IndyCar Series win. After wins at Watkins Glen and Nashville the past two weekends, he tied the series mark for consecutive victories set by Kenny Brack (1998) and tied by Dan Wheldon (2005).

“Coming into the weekend, after qualifying, I was like, you know, this might be the end of the streak,” Dixon said.

Instead, the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team ironed out a few minor bugs, and their streak continued.

Franchitti was second – his 11th consecutive top-5 finish – by 2.6917 seconds, with polesitter Helio Castroneves third, Tony Kanaan fourth, followed by Patrick and Darren Manning.

Patrick, shooting to become the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race, never recovered after a bit of bad luck on the first lap that almost wiped her out of the race.

Kanaan made contact with Patrick’s car in turn 4, forcing her to pull into the grass to avoid any further damage from behind. Patrick dropped all the way to ninth and never made up the lost ground. Still, her fifth-place finish was her best ever on a road course.

Formula One

Two-time defending Formula One champion Fernando Alonso passed Felipe Massa of Ferrari on a slippery track late in the race to win the European Grand Prix at Nuerburg, Germany.

The McLaren driver closed to within two points in the standings of leader Lewis Hamilton. The rookie was ninth, finishing out of the top three for the first time in 10 races this season. Massa was eight seconds behind in second place, and Mark Webber was third for Red Bull to equal his career best.

Champ Car World Series

Sebastien Bourdais won for the first time in four races and regained control of the Champ Car title chase, running away with the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton in Edmonton, Alberta.

He beat 2006 Edmonton winner Justin Wilson to the finish line by 3.947 seconds – about half the final straightaway. Rookies Graham Rahal, Bourdais’ Newman/Haas/Lanigan teammate, and Simon Pagenaud were third and fourth, with Canadian favorite and 2003 series champion Paul Tracy fifth.

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