Scott Dixon used an alternative strategy to claim his second victory of the 2019 IndyCar season, leading a Ganassi one-two ahead of Felix Rosenqvist at Mid-Ohio.
Dixon was one of only two drivers – the other was polesitter Will Power – to utilise a two-stop strategy during the 90-lap contest, while most of his competitors opted for three stops.
Dixon made a crucial move on Power as the Penske driver struggled for pace on his harder compound black tyres just before the halfway point, with the Ganassi driver then immediately pulling a significant advantage as he chased then-leader Rosenqvist.
He made his final stop with around a third of the race remaining, but came under pressure from his three-stopping team-mate in the closing laps.
Rosenqvist had initially looked to pull off a two-stop approach, but despite building a 14 second lead, he pitted early to convert to a three stopper and fell behind Dixon.
Such was his pace though, Rosenqvist re-joined the race as the leading three-stopping driver and resumed his charge in search of a maiden IndyCar win.
Rosenqvist closed to less than a second behind Dixon and attacked the four-time IndyCar champion on the final lap, with the two going side-by-side for several corners.
But Rosenqvist was forced to settle for second as Dixon clung on to win by less than a car length.
Championship leader Josef Newgarden crashed out on the final lap as he challenged Ryan Hunter-Reay for the final podium spot.
Newgarden charged up the inside of Turn 2, but he was unable to complete the pass as he touched the Andretti-run machine and spun off into the gravel.
Hunter-Reay came home third just ahead of Power, who salvaged fourth despite struggling for pace on his two-stop strategy.
Alexander Rossi finished fifth, reducing Newgarden’s points lead to just 16 with just four races remaining.
Simon Pagenaud survived late pressure from Spencer Pigot to secure sixth and the Ed Carpenter Racing pilot finished just ahead of Harding Steinbrenner rookie Colton Herta, who was eighth.
Graham Rahal recovered from a poor qualifying to take ninth by the flag, while Sebastian Bourdais rounded out the top 10 for Dale Coyne Racing despite making contact with Herta early in the race.
Herta touched Bourdais and sent him into a spin early in the race as the Austin race winner tried to move ahead at Turn 2 on lap 16.
Herta escaped penalty for the collision, but Bourdais struggled for speed thereafter on his way to 10th.