Indycars championship leader Scott Dixon minimized the damage at Mid-Ohio this morning to secure fifth after a lowly qualifying position and maintains a 46-point advantage in the standings.

Starting the race from ninth on the grid the four-time champion made good ground on his opening stint, running longer than some of his rivals to work his way back into the front running positions.

He battled hard despite his point's buffer and came out from his final stop right behind title contender and reigning series champion Josef Newgarden. Dixon tried hard to put a move on the Penske driver but had to eventually give it up and settle for fifth.

Alexander Rossi won the race after making a two-stop strategy work perfectly. He moves up to second in the standings with four races remaining in the season.


Robert Wickens finished second with Will Power third and Newgarden fourth.

"It is what we needed," Rossi said. "We said coming into this weekend we had to execute for five weekends in a row and this is a start of that.

"Great fuel milage from Honda, great tyre life too."

Dixon was a bit disappointed with his result after such a great opening stint. He admitted they didn't quite know whether to race hard and go with three stops or save fuel and try for two.

"We were kind of in no-man's land between going with three or going for two (stops)," he said.

"It was just one of those days where we would pit for track position and come out behind somebody.

"Unfortunately we didn't get the result we wanted but it was OK."