IndyCar: Scott Dixon finishes second in dramatic Indianapolis Grand Prix

Kiwi driver Scott Dixon just missed out on winning his first race of the IndyCar season in dramatic circumstances at the Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The defending champion was leading on the penultimate lap in the rain-affected race when Frenchman Simon Pagenaud was able to slip past and take the chequered flag, to win the race by 2.0469s on Sunday (NZ time).

Dixon had led for 39 of the 85 laps after starting second on the grid, when Pagenaud took the lead.

It was Pagenaud's first IndyCar win since the 2017 season finale at Sonoma.

Dixon said the balance on his car didn't allow him to push hard enough to hold off Pagenaud on a wet track.

"It sucks to lead that many laps and come up short but congrats to Pagenaud," Dixon added.

The result was Dixon's fourth top-five finish and his third second-placing this season.

The 38-year-old now climbs to second in the championship standings with 176 points, just six behind series leader Josef Newgarden.

Dixon will now prepare for the biggest race on the IndyCar calendar with the  104th running of the Indianapolis 500, taking place on May 27.