News & Multimedia

Dixon seeking to call it 'job accomplished'

HOUSTON -- The IZOD IndyCar Series championship scenario was easy to digest by new points leader Scott Dixon, who finished first and second in the 90-lap races Oct. 5-6 that constituted the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.

Finish fifth in the 250-lap twilight MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway on Oct. 19 and, no matter the result posted by Helio Castroneves, he’ll secure his third series title.

It’s the eighth consecutive year that the series champion will be decided in the season finale.

“It’s really going to come down to the wire,” said Dixon, who claimed the prize in 2003 and ‘08. “It’s going to be the last lap, last corner kind of situation that we’ll expect. At least I hope it ends that way. You don’t want somebody crashing out on Lap 3 or even midway through the race.

“(Castroneves is) strong at the big oval, definitely speed?wise. I think both engine manufacturers have got some updates for Fontana. So we'll probably see a lot of grid penalties before the race (for unapproved engine changes). It’s going to be a fun race. 

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ve got to go with the mindset of trying to win the race. If you can do that and be on the top three in the podium, then job accomplished.”

Dixon accomplished his task on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn circuit at Reliant Parka with a 74-point swing. He takes a 25-point advantage into the last of the season’s 19 races.

“I think we had a good shot of making the points level coming out of here,” Dixon said following his runner-up finish to Team Penske’s Will Power in Race 2. “But to make that gain, I think we as a team know that we have potential to have a good shot at winning both races, especially street courses at the moment.

“But you can never predict, basically, how the competition is going to be or the problems they may have. I feel bad for Helio with the weekend that he had. You see most of the championship contenders have problems throughout the year, and he’s been pretty consistent throughout the year up until now.”

Castroneves entered the weekend riding a streak of 12 races in which he finished in the top 10 and had been the only driver to complete all 2,003 laps. He took the outright points lead with a victory at Texas Motor Speedway and held it for nine races over four months.

But the No. 3 Team Penske entry developed mechanical issues early in both races, which relegated the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion to 18th- and 23rd-place finishes.

“I feel bad for the team because they’ve worked so hard to get us in a position to win this championship,” said Castroneves, who started on the pole for the Race 2 standing start as a rainstorm washed out the 30-minute morning qualifying session and the lineup was set by entrant points. “And there is still a lot of racing left. We know we have a strong car in Fontana. We were fast in the test there (Sept. 24) and we will definitely be going for it.”

Both drivers have had moderate success at the 2-mile D-shaped oval with 14 degrees of banking in the turns.

Dixon:

* 2012 – Qualified fifth and started 15th because of a 10 grid spot penalty for unapproved engine change. Led 15 laps and finished third.
* 2005 – Started 15th and finished 10th.
* 2004 – Started second and finished eighth.
* 2003 – Started third and finished second. Led 13 laps.

Castroneves:

* 2012 – Started 10th and finished 17th. Led two laps.
* 2005 – Started sixth and finished ninth.
* 2004 – Started first and finished seventh. Led 145 laps.
* 2003 – Started first and finished sixth. Led 39 laps.

Ed Carpenter won the 2012 race in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car for Ed Carpenter Racing. The first INDYCAR race at the 2-mile oval was won by Sam Hornish Jr. in 2002. Eddie Cheever Jr. was the pole sitter.

Other winners: Hornish in 2003, Adrian Fernandez in 2004, Dario Franchitti in 2005. The 2012 and ’05 races were season finales, while the other two were the penultimate races of the season.

The standings heading into the final race the past five seasons:

2008 -- Dixon 606  Castroneves 576
2009 -- Dixon 570  Franchitti 565
2010 -- Power 587  Franchitti 575
2011 -- Power 542  Franchitti 531
2012 -- Power 453 Hunter-Reay 436

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Bragging Rights, Big Prize At Stake In Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge
 
Dixon seeking to call it 'job accomplished'
HOUSTON -- The IZOD IndyCar Series championship scenario was easy to digest by new points leader Scott Dixon, who finished first and second in the 90-lap races Oct. 5-6 that constituted the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.
Read More
Related Media
IMS Crowd
 
IMS Seating To Be Smoke-Free Beginning in October 2017
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced today that its grandstands will be entirely smoke-free beginning with the 2017 Red Bull Air Race. In addition, leading up to the Air Race, the track will provide limited smoke-free family grandstands at select Month of May events and at the Brickyard 400.
Read More
IMS Museum
 
Fans Can Enjoy IMS Museum for Free during INDYCAR Grand Prix Weekend
Admission to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum will be free for INDYCAR Grand Prix ticket holders during the two-day event, May 12-13 at IMS.
Read More
Fashon Friday
 
Indy 500 Fans: Show Greatest Wardrobe in Racing on #500FashionFridays
Indianapolis 500 fans are encouraged to show their pride for the world's greatest race every Friday in the celebratory Month of May 2017 by wearing black, white and checkers to work, school and leisure activities.
Read More
Doug Boles
 
IMS, INDYCAR Retain Ties with Purdue Grand Prix
So many go-kart team participants who competed in Saturday’s 60th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing” at West Lafayette, Indiana, have an ambitious eye toward the future. Be it drivers or team members, these Purdue University engineering students aspire to be a part of the Indianapolis 500, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Read More
Fernando Alonso
 
Alonso Begins Indy 500 Learning Process with Visit To Barber
If nothing more can be gleaned from Fernando Alonso’s visit today to Barber Motorsports Park – and his plan to race in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 – it’s that racers share one goal: to be faster than the rest, no matter the car or venue.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 486
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Looking forward to it! ?? https://t.co/8rLBfi64AA
about 32 minutes ago