Scott Dixon drove his Chip Gnassi Chevrolet to the Winner’s Circle in the Verizon IndyCar Series road-race at Watkins Glen International. Unfortunately, Dixon was still eliminated from a chance at a second championship in three years.
Scott Dixo captured his win from the pole position. As a result, it was Scott Dixon’s 40th career win and moved him past Al Unser for fourth place on the all-time list. Michael Andretti still sits in third with 42 victories.
Scott Dixon claimed victory for the second time in 2016. It was also the fourth time in seven starts in Watkins Glen, New York. Dixon recorded the quickest times in all of the three practice sessions before the race.
Furthermore, he completely destroyed the track record in qualifying. The 2014 IndyCar champion was also the quickest driver in the warm-up session and led the most laps in the contest. Really, the only thing Scott Dixon didn’t do, was complete the event’s fastest lap. Instead, his teammate Tony Kannan received that honor on Sunday.
Scott Dixon was flawless. He constantly opened big leads and saved enough gas over the final circuits to capture victory by an impressive 16.5 seconds. Dixon said that he was doling out his earnings to the late Justin Wilson’s family. The talented young driver died last August after being struck in the head by a nose-cone in an IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway.
“We got amazing fuel mileage,” Dixon said in victory lane. “The cautions also bit us pretty good in Toronto, so it was nice to turn it around today. This car could really roll through the corners. It’s almost like a sweep this weekend. I will definitely remember this one.”
Josef Newgarden finished an impressive second. Helio Castroneves took the last spot on the podium in third. Indy Car rookie Conor Daly, drove to a fourth place finish and Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the top five in fifth.
Simon Pagenaud improved his lead over Will Power with his seventh place output. He is now 43 points to the good in the standings with one race remaining. Pagenaud was also in fifth with 10 laps left, but lost position conserving fuel in the final laps. The Frenchman will be tough to catch in the final event at Sonoma Raceway in California next week.
Will Power wrecked in the middle of the contest and finished in 20th. He was not allowed to continue to compete because of concussion-like symptoms. Power’s race toward the championship suffered a damaging blow. The defending IndyCar champion’s #12 Team Penske Chevrolet collided with Charlie Kimball on lap 39 while coming out of the winding turns.
Charlie Kimball made contact with Will Power’s left rear tire in the narrow section of the venue. He made a giant charge on the outside and made contact with Power. As a result, he sent Power hard into the outside blockade. That also brought out a caution when parts from Power’s hot-rod was scattered across the track.
Graham Rahal, who won in a photo finish against James Hinchcliffe last week at Texas, had his contest end early. Rahal tried to drive on the inside of Charlie Kimball coming out of turn 1 on Lap 20.
The Rahal/Letterman Racing phenom was running eighth when he hit the rear of Charlie Kimball’s #83. The speedster started the race in 20th after a penalty during qualifying and finished the event in 21st.
“I went down on the inside but decided not to give me any room,” Rahal said. “It’s just a shame. We were looking really, really good. I was also able to move up through the field. We saved a lot. Our tires were also better than everybodys. I’ve also got to take the blame, too. I should know better.”
The IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International took just over an hour and 40 minutes to complete. The average speed around the 3.4 mile, winding road course was 119.334 miles per hour. There were three cautions for nine laps and eight lead changes between six different drivers.
The season ends Sept. 18 with a double-points race at Sonoma Raceway. Last year, Dixon erased a 47-point deficit on series leader Juan Pablo Montoya to take the title, so Power is still alive for his second title. Simon Pagenaud has never been an IndyCar champion.
Point Standings With One Race Remaining:
1 Simon Pagenaud 555
2 Will Power 512 -43
3 Scott Dixon 451 -104
3 Helio Castroneves 451 -104
5 Josef Newgarden 446 -109
6 Tony Kanaan 427 -128
7 Graham Rahal 403 -152
8 Carlos Munoz 402 -153
9 Charlie Kimball 389 -166
10 James Hinchcliffe 380 -175
11 Alexander Rossi 370 -185
12 Sebastien Bourdais 364 -191
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay 364 -191
14 Juan Pablo Montoya 363 -192
15 Mikhail Aleshin 309 -246
16 Conor Daly 295 -260
17 Marco Andretti 291 -264
18 Takuma Sato 288 -267
19 Max Chilton 239 -316
20 Jack Hawksworth 205 -350
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