Scott Dixon finished second during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach but felt the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing machine had the pace to claim outright victory on Sunday.
The New Zealander was forced to settle for second position at the chequered flag after a fierce battle with Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, and was forced to accept the stewards decision not to penalise his rival more than with a warning for appearing to cut the exit line on pit exit to stay ahead of Dixon.
Despite this, Dixon sits second in the championship after the opening three races, just fourteen points behind Pagenaud as he battles for his fourth IndyCar title.
“It was definitely a pretty fierce battle up front,” said Dixon. “A bit of lapped traffic, some pit stop sequence, people trying to pit short, go longer, etc, so it was quite exciting for in and out (laps) and when to use your overtakes and things like that.
“I think on the last one we got caught off guard a little bit before the pit sequence had already been finished, and then to hear when we’re coming down the straight that the 22 was just coming out, we had actually backed off already and started saving fuel. With the gap that we had on Helio [Castroneves], I really didn’t think we had to worry about too much and didn’t get any warning from the pits.
“Obviously that scenario was a lot closer than we anticipated, and then when we got to Turn 1, it appeared that Simon turned a little early and crossed the line that you’re not meant to cross.
“But it is what it is, so second place today, and Team Target did a hell of a job, and pit stops were clean, and I think we had really good pace, but personally I think we should have won the race.”