Kiwi Indycar driver Scott Dixon has given his championship charge a massive boost by winning the first race in the Detroit double-header on Sunday.

The 37-year-old joined Michael Andretti in a share of third on the all-time wins list with his 42nd career victory. Only the legendary AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti have won more races.

It also marks the 14th consecutive season that Dixon has won a race - he extended his own record in the process.

The four-time series champion started from second on the grid and took control of the race by the end of his first stint. He dominated from that point on – building up a big lead before a safety car intervention bunched the field up behind him straight after his final pit stop.

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The race had been green until that point but that prompted closer racing and it produced another yellow shortly after the re-start.


But Dixon held his nerve and eased away to win his first race of the season.

"It was big," a delighted Dixon said. "It is nice to get that first win out of the way – we came up a little short in the last few races.

"I am super proud of this team. Honda has been working extremely hard to bounce back after last week [at Indianapolis].

"This is awesome – it is always good to be back in the winner's circle.

"Right now in the Indycar Verizon Series the competition is just so tough."

Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second while Alexander Rossi was third in a clean sweep of the podium positions for Honda.

The win was dominant - Dixon had plenty left in the tank, appeared to have the fastest car on both types of tyre and his team produced two flawless stops.

He moves up to second the championship standings - Rossi has taken the lead.

A second race on the Belle Isle street circuit awaits on Monday.