LEXINGTON, United States: Graham Rahal’s late-season surge continued Sunday (Monday in Manila) as the US driver notched his second IndyCar win in four events to close in on Juan Pablo Montoya’s series lead.
Rahal was pitting on lap 65 of the 90-lap race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course as rookie Sage Karam spun to bring out a caution.
Rahal was in third at the time, but he took to the lead as others, including Colombia’s Montoya, had to wait to make their pit stops.
Rahal not only won that restart, he won a final post-caution restart with Justin Wilson to take the victory 3.4 seconds ahead of the Englishman.
France’s Simon Pagenaud was third, with New Zealand’s Scott Dixon, who started from pole, fourth.
It was a tough day for Dixon, who had won five of the past eight races on the 2.258-mile (3.63 Km), 13-turn course and set a lap record in qualifying.
He was shuffled back in the pack on an early caution and had to battle his way back to finish fourth.
Rahal, who also won the oval-track race at Auto Club Speedway on June 27, climbed within nine points of Montoya’s series lead with two races remaining — at Pocono on August 23 and at Sonoma on August 30.
The season-finale will be worth double points.
Montoya, who finished 11th, leads the standings with 465 points followed by Rahal on 456 with Dixon thrid on 431.
For Rahal, the victory was a home win. He was born and brought up less than an hour south of Lexington and his father, three-time IndyCar champion Bobby Rahal, won at Mid-Ohio in 1985 and 1986.