INDIANAPOLIS – Scott Dixon answered a few questions and started walking painfully down the pit road when he realized he had forgotten something: his wife.
Dixon turned around, grabbed Emma’s hand, and took off on what must have been one of the most distressing walks of his IndyCar career. Disappointment. Noxo. Discomfort. Dixon had to feel them all.
The 41-year-old New Zealander had his car crashed for much of Indy’s 500 Miles on Sunday until a speeding penalty cost him the chance to hit the bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time since 2008.
Dixon was trying to make what should be his last pit stop, with 23 laps to go, when he blocked the rear tires while braking and driving. IndyCar’s sophisticated timing and scoring system marked his speed and the officials dictated a penalty per pass that cost him valuable seconds and a significant number of points.
In essence, he had no chance on the stretch.
“To be honest, it’s heartbreaking,” Dixon said. “It must have been very close. … I think it was like a mile an hour or so. It’s just frustrating. The car was great all day. We had a really good speed. The team did an amazing job in strategy. I ruined it. “
He owned it too.
Dixon got out of his Honda No. 9, apologized to all the crew members he could locate, and even went to the side to do the same with everyone working in the box of Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou.
Surely it was a bittersweet ending.
Another Ganassi teammate, Marcus Ericsson, won the Indy 500 after Dixon’s mistake, and close friend and teammate Tony Kanaan crossed the finish line in third place.
Dixon was 21º, his fourth worst result at the IndyCar event.
Dixon received a lot of sympathy and support as he walked the grill. Fans applauded his name. Crews from other teams offered condolences. Ed Carpenter, a native of Indianapolis, stopped Dixon and asked what had happened.
Kanaan and Dixon shared a long hug. Graham Rahal slapped him on the back.
Emma Davies-Dixon asked them both the same question: why did IndyCar throw a red flag with five laps to go? It was only two years ago that race control was in a similar position, with Scott Dixon according to Takuma Sato, when IndyCar let the race end in yellow.
“Because they are not consistent,” Rahal replied. “They do what they want.”
Kanaan took a different view, saying that IndyCar made the right call for one main reason.
“I think we’re here for the fans,” Kanaan said. “We listened to the fans. Yes, a lot of people are going to have different opinions about it … They came here to see a race, with a green flag and a checkered flag. That was the right call …
“That’s what people wanted to do. I’m in full support. … If I were on the bench, I want to see a race that ends under the green.”
Scott Dixon declined to comment on the different end-of-career approaches.
“I do not know. We were out then, so we didn’t care, “he said.
But what about 2020?
“Could, should, should, right?” he said. “That’s why it’s so hard to win in this place.”
Dixon experienced his share of anguish in Indy. The six-time IndyCar champion and widely regarded as the best driver of his generation, has finished twice in the 500 since his only victory at the 14-year-old Brickyard. He started from pole for the fourth time in eight years and led a maximum of 95 laps, more than twice as many as Palou and 82 more than Ericsson.
“He was definitely super fast, he had good speed all day,” he said. “I think if things were softer, we’d be in the fight in the end. But obviously not.”
Still, Dixon ended up in the winning circle. Despite the pain, his long walk with Emma led us to celebrate with Ericsson and his fellow Ganassi.
“When someone does something good, everyone celebrates,” Ganassi said. “No one is happier than all the other riders for the team’s victory.”
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An Indy 500 finale to forget about the 6-time Dixon series champion
Source link An Indy 500 finale to forget about the 6-time Dixon series champion