The Latest: Japan’s Sato leads in Alabama at halfway point

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (all times local):

5:12 p.m.

Takuma Sato of Japan has won the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama for his fourth career IndyCar victory.

Sato, the 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner, became the fifth driver to win after starting on the pole at Barber Motorsports Park and was in control most of the way. Scott Dixon earned his sixth runner-up finish in the race’s 10-year history.

Sato had a late issue when he went into the grass and lost about a second off his lead at the road course. He quickly gained it back over the final laps while Dixon held off Sebastien Bourdais for second.

Sato reclaimed the top spot on lap 58 of the 90-lap race after coming out of pit road. It was the 11th lead change, a record for the race. Sato didn’t give it up again.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal started second but ran into mechanical troubles. His car lost power on a straightaway to end his day after 55 laps, but the day was a success for the team.

Two-time defending champion Josef Newgarden worked his way up to fourth after starting 16th. Newgarden, the series points leader, had won three of the last four Alabama races.