Kiwi driver Scott Dixon finishes second at Indy Car race in Indianapolis

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RNZ rnz.co.nz

New Zealand driver Scott Dixon has fought from the rear of the grid to claim a podium finish at the latest Indy Car race in Indianapolis.

AVONDALE, AZ - APRIL 06:  Scott Dixon #9 driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing Honda IndyCar during practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway on April 6, 2018 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Scott Dixon #9 driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing Honda IndyCar during practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway in Arizona.

Source: Getty

He started the race in 18th position and worked his way to an unlikely second behind Australia's Will Power.

Power has yet to win an Indianapolis 500 in 10 tries, but he cemented his place as the master of the road course preliminary to the Indy Car Series greatest race by winning the Grand Prix for the third time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The victory was as much a study in statistical nuggets as the first victory of the 2018 season for Power. The victory was the 200th in Indy car history for Team Penske, which made its debut in the sport 50 years ago.

But this was no parade for Power, who dueled in the middle stretches of the race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile permanent road course with rookie Robert Wickens, and again in the final laps saving fuel and attempting to maintain a slim gap on master fuel miser Scott Dixon.

"I've never driven so hard for an entire race. I was 100 percent the entire time," said Power, who crossed the finish line in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet 2.2443 seconds ahead of Dixon. "I'm exhausted."

Penske deemed Power's effort "world class, having to make fuel at the end, staying ahead of Wickens, staying ahead of the best guy in the business, Scott Dixon."

The finish was a repeat of a year ago when Power placed first and Dixon second. Dixon, in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, collected the 39th runner-up finish of his career (third all time) and the 97th podium finish (fifth all time).

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