Scott Dixon saw his chance of a fifth Verizon IndyCar Series title end as the New Zealander was forced to settle for fourth place at the season finale at Sonoma Raceway, in a race he felt was compromised by Helio Castroneves.
Dixon was the sole Chip Ganassi Racing representative in the championship battle amid a four-car charge from Team Penske, and with Josef Newgarden finishing second on Sunday, it left Dixon twenty-one points behind the American, while Simon Pagenaud’s victory on Sunday saw the Frenchman also jump him in the final standings.
Throughout the race, Dixon battled for position with Castroneves, and felt that the Brazilian tried his best to stay ahead of him by pitting around the same time every time, and by the time he finally found a way ahead of the series veteran, he was left with too much work to do to close up on the other three Penske drivers of Pagenaud, Newgarden and Will Power.
“It just seems like the No. 3 car covered us,” said Dixon. “Every time we short-pitted they followed us and he was just a massive roadblock.
“Once we got into clean air, we were able to make up ground, but every time we got into traffic we got real loose. Huge credit to everyone on the NTT Data crew [but] obviously not the way we wanted to finish.
“A big congrats to Penske and Josef (Newgarden) on a job well done.”