Dixon Does It Again with Edmonton Win Scott Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team continue to "get it done" in the 2008 IndyCar Series, combined efforts for their fifth victory of the season Saturday at the Rexall Edmonton Indy. The...
Dixon Does It Again with Edmonton Win
Scott Dixon and his Target Chip Ganassi Racing team continue to "get it done" in the 2008 IndyCar Series, combined efforts for their fifth victory of the season Saturday at the Rexall Edmonton Indy. The win was the result of great race strategy -- saving fuel early for a quick final pit stop on Lap 52 -- and savvy driving in traffic as Dixon held off a strong late-race challenge from Helio Castroneves.
Indeed, it was Castroneves who finally "blinked", running wide in Turn One as the pair worked its way through lapped traffic, after which Dixon escaped to an almost six-second margin of victory. Castroneves recovered to finish second, but fell to 65 points behind Dixon in the championship chase with just four races remaining.
Newman Haas Laningan Racing's Justin Wilson, who won the Champ Car race here in 2006 and has never finished lower than fourth in three previous Edmonton starts, rounded out the top three; while Paul Tracy earned massive cheers from his countrymen with a charging drive to fourth after starting 15th.
This weekend 27-car Edmonton field recorded 10,003 miles in practice, qualifying and racing this weekend at Mid-Ohio, again without a single engine failure for the Honda HI8R Indy V-8 used by all competitors in the IndyCar Series.
Behind the lead quartet, Oriol Servia survived a tight battle in the final laps, including contact with Ryan Briscoe, to wind up fifth, with Briscoe sixth. Dan Wheldon led another tight group across the finish line, just edging Ryan Hunter-Reay for seventh. Tony Kanaan came from last on the starting grid [due to a spin and resulting engine change in qualifying] to finish ninth, with Darren Manning just half a car length behind to round out the top 10.
After six consecutive race weekends, and racing activities including the Indianapolis 500 for 14 of the last 15 weeks, the IndyCar Series now takes a one-week break before resuming Saturday, August 9 with the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 4th, finished 1st, his fifth IndyCar Series win and first road course victory of 2008; 15th career win; extended his IndyCar championship points lead to 65 over Helio Castroneves: "We definitely went into a fuel-saving mode during the middle stages of the race, and that, combined with a fantastic pit stop from my guys, was the difference today. Helio [Castroneves] was very, very quick when he was running out front. But the Target guys nailed that pit stop and got me out front, and Helio wasn't quite as strong when running in my wake. I want to thank all the fans here in Edmonton. They've been fantastic, among the best we see all year. I can't wait to come back next year."
Paul Tracy (#22 Vision/Walker Racing Honda) Started 15th, finished 4th in his first open-wheel race since the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April: "This feels just like a win for us. Just a week ago, I was hanging out with nothing to do and really, not sure if I still had a career. What Derek [Walker] and his team have been able to accomplish in only seven days is simply amazing. And I think I showed that I still know what to do behind the wheel, as well. Hopefully we can build on this and turn it into a long-term deal for the future."
Jack Spurney (General Manager, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "I think this was a great inaugural event for the IndyCar Series here in Edmonton, I was impressed with the size and enthusiasm of the crowd all weekend long, and I think Edmonton certainly showed itself in a very favorable light. Congratulations to Scott Dixon and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team on another well-earned victory, their first road-course win of this year. Finally, a sincere 'thank you' to all of our associates at Honda Performance Development and our technical partner, Ilmor. This stretch of six consecutive race weekends was a severe test of both our people and equipment, and we came through it with flying colors."