Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 4, 2013

de la Bastide: IndyCar's Dixon left seeing red

NASCAR's Chase field will be set Saturday.


Kokomo Tribune

---- — Scott Dixon’s hopes of winning the Izod IndyCar championship are rapidly fading after he tangled with Will Power two weeks in a row.

Dixon was poised to win the race on the Sonoma road course two weeks ago when he was penalized for making contact with Power’s rear tire changer during a pit stop. Forced to serve a drive-through penalty down pit road, it gave Power the lead and he went on to victory while Dixon ended up a dismal 15th.

Than at the Baltimore street race on Sunday, Dixon was again in a position to gain ground on points leader Helio Castroneves when he again got into an altercation with Power.

With Dixon attempting to pass Power following a restart, Power pulled right in front of Dixon’s car, putting him into the wall and ending his day.

Power said he didn’t check his right side mirror before pulling out in front to Dixon. He claimed to be making a pass on another driver. I guess that would be like making a pass on I-465 around Indianapolis while running 70 miles per hour and not checking the mirrors to see if another car was approaching. Maybe Power needs that electronic device on his side mirrors that light up when a car is located in your blind spot.

It’s just hard to believe that Power wouldn’t check his mirrors or that his spotter wouldn’t let him know that Dixon was attempting to make a pass.

As could be expected on the Baltimore street course, there was a lot of bumping and banging among the IndyCar drivers. I like the idea of racing in Baltimore, but they have to eliminate the hairpin corners where most of the contact was taking place.

Simon Pagenaud got his second win of the season with Josef Newgarden scoring a career-best second-place finish. Simona de Silvestro had an impressive run to finish fifth.

Castroneves leads the standings with 501 points with three races to go. Dixon is second with 452. Pagenaud (431), Marco Andretti (430) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (427) round out the top five.

Next up for the series is a Houston doubleheader on Oct. 5-6.

IN OTHER RACING NEWS

• There is only one race remaining until the Sprint Cup Chase and five positions in the 12-car field will be up for grabs Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.

Drivers looking for a win to at least have a chance at the Chase include defending champion Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman. There should be plenty of action on the track and probably off it as well.

• Michigan driver Johnny VanDoorn is poised to win the JEGS Triple Crown Challenge and the $100,000 bonus

Driving the Mitch Smith Auto Service Chevrolet VanDoorn won the tune-up race Sunday at Winchester Speedway. He has already won the first two legs in the Rowdy 251 at Berlin Raceway and the Stoops Freightliner Red Bud 300 at Anderson Speedway.

All that remains for VanDoorn to collect the bonus money is to win the always tough Winchester 400 on Oct. 13.

• Noblesville’s Brian Gerster captured the Must See Racing winged sprint championship by finishing second at the season ending race at Berlin Raceway, a race won by Jacob Wilson.

Ken de la Bastide may be reached at ken.delabastide@kokomotribune.com or 765-454-8580.