Pole sitter Scott Dixon was able to get the jump on second place Will Power and would lead going into the first turn.
Behind them, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan, Justin Wilson, and Helio Castroneves would battle for third. By the first turn, Power and Dixon were able to pull a small gap on Pagenaud, who immediately had to defend against a strong Kanaan.
Even further into the field, Graham Rahal leads Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sage Karam, and a charging Takuma Sato, who got a wicked start. Sato picked up a run on Karam and Hunter-Reay heading through Turn 1 and would try and take the battle three wide through the short chute. Sato would come up short and he and Karam would tangle, putting Karam into the wall and out of the race. Sato escaped with only a broken left front tie rod. James Davison and Ryan Briscoe tangled trying to avoid the accident. Briscoe would spin, but would recover without losing a lap.
Karam’s Ganassi Chevy is loaded onto a tow truck, his race done. Karam had some choice words for Sato who was able to continue in the race, albeit two laps down due to repairs.
As the field prepared for the restart on Lap 7, Simona de Silvestro ran into the back of Juan Pablo Montoya. The contact broke Montoya’s right rear wheel guard and Simona’s left front wing. Both came in for repairs. The Penske team did a masterful job of replacing the wing and Montoya returned to the field on the lead lap, albeit in 30th place, the last car on the lead lap and the final car in line. Was the 2000 champ’s day done already?
Back at the front of the field, Dixon pulled out an early lead. However the Dallara DW12 chassis is great for drafting and even with the new aero kits, no one driver could pull away from the pack. Dixon swapped the lead with Kanaan and Pagenaud, the three of them duking it out for the top three for the next 50 laps.