IndyCar Series 2013
Leading a race-high 27 laps of Sunday’s GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, Scott Dixon appeared headed to his fourth IZOD IndyCar Series race win of 2013 – and the fifth consecutive win for Honda and Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing organization – until he made contact with a tire being carried by a Team Penske crew member while exiting his pit stall during the final round of pit stops on the 64th of 85 laps.
The impact knocked over the crewman for race rival Will Power, and two other members of the team, but no serious injuries were reported. However, the contact resulted in Dixon receiving a “drive-through” penalty, requiring him to drive the length of pit lane at reduced speed, dropping him to a 15th-place finish. That cost Dixon what would have become the lead in the Driver’s Championship, while Power went on to record his first victory of 2013.
It also lost Honda the lead in the IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship. Dixon remains in second place in the Drivers’ Championship, but falls 39 points behind leader Helio Castoneves with four races remaining, while Honda is three points behind Chevrolet in the battle for the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Starting alongside his pole-qualifying teammate Dario Franchitti, Dixon slotted into second place at the start and ran behind Franchitti through the first round on pit stops on Lap 18, in what quickly developed into a contentious, incident-filled race that saw a race-record seven caution flags. Moving in front of Franchitti after the first round of stops, Dixon took the lead on Lap 30, and continued to maintain his advantage over the field – except during routine pit stops – until the final round of stops and incident in pit lane on Lap 64.
With Dixon penalized, Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson challenged Power through the final nine laps, including one final restart on Lap 80, but was unable to complete a pass. Still, his second-place result was the best of the season for the Honda-powered veteran, as Wilson survived a Lap 6 spin after being hit by E.J. Viso. Wilson spent the middle third of the race going “off sequence” in his pit strategy to gain track position, then stretched his fuel during the laps prior to his last pit stop to rejoin the battle for the race win, taking the checkers just over one second behind Power.
Franchitti also remained in the lead group throughout the race, but lost some ground while running on the Firestone “black” primary tires, before regaining his lost positions and finishing third, following a change to the alternate “Red” tires at his final pit stop.
The IZOD IndyCar Series now packs up and rapidly heads across the continent to the East Coast for next weekend’s Baltimore Grand Prix, September 1, on the 2.4-mile temporary street circuit around the city’s Inner Harbor.
|1||Will Power (Team Penske)|
|2||Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|3||Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|4||Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport)|
|5||Simon Pagenaud (Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports)|
|6||Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)|
|7||Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)|
|8||James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport)|
|9||Simona de Silvestro (KV Racing Technology)|
|10||Sebastien Bourdais (Dragon Racing)|
|11||Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|
|12||Tristan Vautier (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports)|
|15||Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|16||JR Hildebrand (Barracuda Racing/BHA)|
|18||James Davison (Dale Coyne Racing)|
|20||Charlie Kimball (Chip Ganassi Racing)|
|22||Lucas Luhr (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing)|
|23||Takuma Sato (A.J. Foyt Racing)|
|24||Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing)|
|25||James Jakes (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)|