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Dixon fifth at Phoenix Grand Prix

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/04/2017

Scott Dixon of New Zealand. © Christian Petersen/Getty Images Scott Dixon of New Zealand. Scott Dixon has finished fifth at the Phoenix Grand Prix, leaving him second overall in the IndyCar standings.

Kiwi driver Dixon recorded his worst finish in what has been a consistent start to the season, having previously placed third, fourth and second.

The Chip Ganassi Racing veteran steered clear of an five-car pile-up in the opening lap which marred the race.

Mikhail Aleshin lost control of his car on turn one which ruled out five Honda entries, including leading lights Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal.

French driver Simon Pagenaud went on to win his first oval course event in a 105-race career and take the series lead.

He sits on 159 points, followed by Dixon (141) and American Josef Newgarden (133).

Pagenaud beat Team Penske teammate Will Power to the chequered flag by just under 10 seconds.

Pagenaud took the lead for good midway through the 250-lap race and held on grimly.

"I have a button on my wheel that tells me how many laps were left. I kept pressing it. It was stressful," Pagenaud said.

Dixon was the best-placed Honda driver, more than a lap behind Pagenaud.

Round five is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 13, leading into the famed Indy 500 at the nearby oval circuit.

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