Scott Dixon celebrated his 21st birthday today with his first ever 500-mile endurance race. The strategy for PacWest was to conserve fuel early and stay on the lead lap, if possible, and cruise for 200-miles - then put the power down and race for...
Scott Dixon celebrated his 21st birthday today with his first ever 500-mile endurance race. The strategy for PacWest was to conserve fuel early and stay on the lead lap, if possible, and cruise for 200-miles - then put the power down and race for the remaining 100 miles. Gugelmin and Dixon ran lean for most of the race and fell off the lead lap early. Gugelmin finished the race with five pit stops, while Dixon was forced to take a sixth stop late after race control reported debris stuck under Scott's car after an accident on lap 233. Both drivers fought hard, but only Dixon escaped with points.
SCOTT DIXON - # 18 POWERWARE PANASONIC PACWEST TOYOTA
Finishing Position: 10th Total Laps: 248
"I didn't have a very good car all day," said Dixon. "It was worse in the first half of the race, but it got better with sticker tires. We were actually competitive for the second half, but I fought a pretty bad understeer exiting the corners. This was my first 500-miler and it was definitely a long day. I'm not as tired as I thought I might be, but it won't take much to put me over the edge. I'm glad to have earned another three points, which I will gladly take after the weekend we had. I'll probably have a little gathering back in Indy tonight for my birthday, but aside from that I'm staying focused on Chicago next weekend."
MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST TOYOTA
Finishing Position: 15th Total Laps: 246
"I experienced a bad push all day and I never felt like I had a great car to work with," said Gugelmin. "What a long day this was. We lacked some grip to go along with the push I had, and on top of that my steering felt like it was nervous all day long - almost like I had a road course steering rack on the car. It made things tough, but all 500-mile races are fights. We survived, but it's too bad we couldn't get any points for our efforts."