Tomas Scheckter’s team-mate, Scott “The Thunder from Down Under” Dixon, recorded the Indy Racing League’s first flag-to-flag victory by winning the SunTrust Indy Challenge 250 in Colorado on Saturday.

Tomas Scheckter’s team-mate, Scott “The Thunder from Down Under” Dixon, recorded the Indy Racing League’s first flag-to-flag victory by winning the SunTrust Indy Challenge 250 in Colorado on Saturday.

Dixon took combined red and checkered flags in his Team Target Panoz G Force Toyota for the Kiwi's third win of the season and the second in succession. Moreover, it was the first unchallenged victory in the eight-year history of the Indy Racing League.

An elated Dixon said the race for him was "a lot of fun. This is an awesome place to race. We had the fastest car all weekend and hardly worked on it at all. I've got to give credit to the engineering side for giving me a consistent and fast car. This team puts together great cars and that makes my job so much easier."

Although there were five caution periods in the 206-lap race, there was plenty of action throughout the field that kept the 50 000-plus fans on the edge of their seats. One of the caution periods was caused when an electric company reported a tree near the circuit fell on a power line, disrupting electricity to a section of the track's lights.

And after an indifferent performance in qualifying, Dixon’s South African team-mate Scheckter spun, collided with Al Unser and was relegated down the field when racing resumed following one of the caution periods. The 22-year-old eventually finished in 18th place.

Scheckter’s challenge evaporated when his team was forced to replace the nose cone on the #10 Team Target Panoz G Force/Toyota. The young Capetonian lost three laps and dropped to the back of the field.

"It (the race) didn't go exactly as we would have liked. We had a great start. We knew we had a good race car. We had a pretty good race going, but unfortunately, I think I may have got hit on the back by Al (Unser Jr.) on a restart,” the South African said.

“I'm not sure what happened. It was a little bit of a bump. We had to change the front nose, and it put us back two or three laps. We had to fight from there. I'm just happy that Team Target was able to get a win out of it. We'll concentrate on the next race," he added.

Meanwhile, Unser earned tenth place in the Corteco Dallara/Toyota, who gained places on his pit stops. "Unfortunately, Scheckter spun in front of me and clipped my wing. That put me at the back of the queue, and then we just never could get the car back again."

The race was effectively over on Lap 199 when rain forced race officials to bring the field under caution. At the time, Dixon had a 3,6-second lead over Helio Castroneves' Marlboro Team Penske Dallara Toyota who, in turn led by a near-two-second gap on his teammate Gil de Ferran in the Marlboro Team Penske Dallara Toyota.

Sam Hornish started fourth and finished in that spot, albeit with trips from the front to the back and again to the front of the field in his Pennzoil Panther Dallara Chevrolet. For Hornish, it was an eventful evening, particularly on his first pit stop at lap 58.

As the defending champion exited his stall, Felipe Giaffone was trying to enter his own for service on the Hollywood Panoz G Force/Toyota. The duo made slight contact and Hornish returned to his pit box for a top-off of fuel, putting him down to 14th place.

Hornish produced some of the best action over the latter quarter of the race as he picked off cars one after the other in pursuit of a good finish. On Lap 181, he passed Giaffone for fifth and on Lap 183 he nipped past Tony Kanaan to take fourth position.

Giaffone earned sixth place in the contest despite a bunch of close calls, including the one with Hornish. "We had great pit stops tonight and improved the car on both stops. At the beginning of the race," Giaffone explained, "the car was pushing really badly in some places and loose in others. We made the car a little more balanced on the first stop, then a little more on the second. I just wish I could have started the race with the car as good as it was when we finished."

The IndyCar Series continues at Kansas Speedway next Sunday, July 6, for the Kansas Indy 300. Can Dixon make it three in a row?

Original article from Car