Reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon put his dismal start to 2009 behind him by winning the season's first oval race at Kansas Speedway.
The Ganassi driver dominated most of the event, which ran to its full 200-lap distance despite the lingering fear of rain following last night's tornado.
Helio Castroneves shrugged off a back row start and an early front wing breakage to take second for Penske, ahead of Andretti Green's Tony Kanaan.
Dixon rapidly worked his way to the front early on, passing pole-sitter Graham Rahal (Newman/Haas/Lanigan) for the lead after just eight laps.
The whole field pitted only five laps later when Castroneves smashed his front wing on the rear of Vitor Meira's Foyt car and sent debris into the path of HVM's EJ Viso, causing the first yellow.
Front row starter Robert Doornbos moved from third to first in the pits, only to clip one of team-mate Rahal's tyres and incur a penalty that put him to the the back of the field. He was unable to recover when racing resumed, and was soon put a lap down.
Rahal tried in vain to reclaim the lead from Dixon at the restart, but soon had to turn his attentions to Kanaan and Ryan Briscoe (Penske) as they closed on his second place.
Although both would eventually make it past Rahal by the time the second pitstops were completed, Dixon remained untouchable, extending a comfortable three-second lead over his pursuers.
That changed just before half-distance when Raphael Matos (Luczo Dragon) tagged the wall and brought out another yellow. Once again everyone pitted, and Dixon emerged in third behind Briscoe and Kanaan. He soon repassed the Andretti Green driver, but could only shadow the race leader through the next stint.
Meanwhile the penalised Castroneves and Dario Franchitti had made swift progress through the field from their back of the grid starts. Castroneves managed to get new front wings under yellow without losing a lap, and was up to fourth behind Kanaan approaching the final stops.
Franchitti was not far behind and on the cusp of breaking into the top six, when he triggered the next yellow by slewing into the wall when he tried to avoid the suddenly-slowing Rahal as both dived for the pits.
This was bad news for Briscoe, who had just pulled on to a now-closed pit road and could only top up his fuel and come round again to rejoin the pack ready for a proper stop.
It was Dixon who got out first this time, now with Castroneves up to second ahead of Kanaan and Briscoe. The top four were glued together in the first few laps of green, but then Dixon began to edge away, eventually beating Castroneves by 0.7 seconds - in the process turning his season around after accidents at both the preceding street events.
"It's been a tough couple of weeks," said Dixon, who jumped from 17th in the championship to fourth as a consequence of this victory.
"We made a few changes to the car and trimmed it out. We were trimmed to win today, and it definitely worked."
Kanaan completed the podium and took a slender points lead, with Briscoe having to settle for fourth.
Andretti Green's Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti completed the top six, as Rahal fought back to seventh after losing several places at the final stops.
Hideki Mutoh made it four AGR cars in the top eight, followed by Ed Carpenter (Vision) and double Kansas winner Dan Wheldon, who could only manage 10th for Panther this time.
Mario Moraes ran strongly in the top five in the opening stints, but lost a lot of places at the second pitstop and never recovered, finishing the race 11th ahead of Doornbos, who also failed to fight back through the field after his penalty.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 200 laps
2. Helio Castroneves Penske + 0.7104s
3. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green + 1.5022s
4. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 1.8872s
5. Danica Patrick Andretti Green + 2.6502s
6. Marco Andretti Andretti Green + 3.8013s
7. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan + 7.8233s
8. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green + 8.5430s
9. Ed Carpenter Vision + 8.9871s
10. Dan Wheldon Panther + 9.7681s
11. Mario Moraes KV +20.9048s
12. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan + 1 lap
13. Sarah Fisher Fisher + 1 lap
14. Justin Wilson Coyne + 1 lap
15. Ryan Hunter-Reay Vision + 4 laps
16. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold + 5 laps
Stanton Barrett 3G 181 laps
Dario Franchitti Ganassi 151 laps
Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 109 laps
Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 95 laps
EJ Viso HVM 37 laps
Vitor Meira Foyt 14 laps