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Dixon third, McLaughlin sixth at Indy 500

New Zealand drivers Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin have finished in the top-10 in the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, exchanged the lead multiple times with eventual back-to-back champion Josef Newgarden with less than 25 laps remaining at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday (Monday NZ Time).


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However, experiencing some looseness, Dixon fell behind Newgarden and McLaren teammates Pato O'Ward and Alexander Rossi in the closing laps.

The 43-year-old got by Rossi on the 200th and final lap of The Great American Race to finish third, his sixth podium finish, ninth top-five result and 14th top-10 of his career at The Brickyard.

"It was like a win, honestly," said Dixon, who went from 21st to third and led 12 laps.

"We had some ups and downs through the race, we had some weird restarts where it felt like some people were jumping. We kinda got onto the right strategy, had some good restarts at the end, we were leading.

Scott Dixon Indianapolis 500 motorsport
Scott Dixon battled to third at the 108th Indianapolis 500. PHOTO: SCOTT DIXON

"But on that (last) restart when they both flew by me, I'm like 'OK this is going to be a bit of a problem'. Once they started going back and forth, I was flat-out just trying to keep on their toes.

"We definitely just didn't have the speed today, unfortunately."

Newgarden, who had an IndyCar victory taken away for Team Penske's rule-breaking regarding the Push-to-Pass advantage, made a last-lap pass on O'Ward to become the first driver to repeat since Brazil's Helio Castroneves in 2001-02.

McLaughlin, who started on pole and featured up the front for much of the race, leading a race-high 64 laps, came home sixth, his best finish at Indianapolis and first top-10.

"We just had a clutch drama all day, unfortunately, and that's just how it is ... we were up there all day but just didn't quite have enough.

"It was pretty intense, the fuel-saving and what not, with all the yellows at the start made that happen. It was hard, you wanted to play it safe and save the fuel but you didn't want to get caught up and fall too far back."

The third Kiwi on the grid, Indy 500 debutant Marcus Armstrong, who started 16th, made it only six laps before he suffered engine failure.


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