Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato lead the field to green on Saturday in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
INDYCAR’s week in the Long Star State began on Tuesday with a declaration on Twitter from league president Jay Frye that the discipline was “fast, loud, authentic and unapologetic.”
On Saturday, INDYCAR backed-up those words with action.
And boy, was there action.
The DXC Technology 600 was a showcase of everything that works about the NTT INDYCAR Series in 2019. The series has tremendous racing, the ideal version of parity, and gritty personalities not afraid to go full-send on the track or off it in post-race interviews.
They have a fun, very throwback formula.
Following a strategy-laden middle stage where Ryan Hunter-Reay dominated but got himself off-strategy by burning too much fuel, a late race caution between contenders Scott Dixon and Colton Herta set-up a 14-lap showdown between Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi.
Rossi was able to get to Newgarden twice, but the outside line never came in on the still-fresh Texas Motor Speedway, and there was nothing the Andretti Autosport ace could do to navigate around the 2017 INDYCAR champion.
What we learned from the DXC Technology 600 can be found below.
INDYCAR’S OVAL PACKAGE SHINES BRIGHT AT TEXAS
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the racing product offered on Saturday night.
Yes, the high line never came in and that made passing extremely challenging, but that is more of an indictment about the new reconfigured Texas Motor Speedway than it was the current INDYCAR oval configuration.
And despite it all, the DXC 600 was a wildly entertaining race.
It had a little bit of everything.
The early stages were fairly procedural with the field tip-toeing around the Great American Speedway during the most-challenging daytime conditions. The middle stages were deceiving. Ryan Hunter-Reay built up a huge lead but only because he burned too much fuel and was forced to make an additional pit stop as a result.
So even at the race’s most spread out moment, the results were still very much in question because the leader was a sitting duck.
The one-groove configuration even provided some thrills with Herta making a series of ballsy passes on Rossi and James Hinchcliffe, before trying the same thing on Dixon to disastrous results.
But that’s what made this race work. Herta sent it in the corner under Dixon, was pinched for his efforts, and couldn’t hold it down — causing both to wipe out and crash into the wall. That was fantastic.
Rossi was faster than Newgarden at the end, and probably could have made a similar gamble, but opted to take the points and move onto Elkhart Lake.
All told, the race provided 13 lead changes amongst 8 different drivers, was completed in less than two hours and saw 579 total passes, with 200 for position.
That was a Saturday night well spent.
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