Dixon Leads Team Target with Podium Finish at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2008)-Scott Dixon started sixth and finished on the podium in third place to lead Target Chip Ganassi Racing while teammate Dan Wheldon was caught up in a lap 41...
Dixon Leads Team Target with Podium Finish at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2008)-Scott Dixon started sixth and finished on the podium in third place to lead Target Chip Ganassi Racing while teammate Dan Wheldon was caught up in a lap 41 incident to finish 17th in round 12 of the IRL IndyCar Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race began under wet conditions and finished just under the two hour time limit for the event.
Dixon managed to drive to fourth on the opening lap and then up to third by just lap 3 of the 85 lap event. Wheldon started the day 13th but he too made up ground in the early goings and had his Target Honda Dallara up to 11th before pitting on lap 3 for slick tires.
Dixon followed suit as the racing line began to dry out, and race strategy immediately came into play with the majority of the 26 car field coming to pit lane for tires.
The turning point of the race for Wheldon came on lap 41 when contact between Justin Wilson and Mario Dominguez started a pileup that left Wheldon stopped and stalled in the grass. Wheldon's team would make a total of six stops on the day, keeping him in the championship hunt by making up four positions (21st to 17th) after the incident.
Dixon kept the nose of the No.9 Target car clean for the most part, making a total of three stops and shadowing championship contender Helio Castroneves to the line in third.
With his ninth podium of the season, Dixon maintained his IndyCar Series championship lead with a 58 point advantage (455 to 397) over Castroneves, with Wheldon now a single marker back of Tony Kanaan in fourth with 364 points.
Scott Dixon: "It was a good day for us. We started sixth -- I knew we still had a car to win. Everything was really crazy today. We didn't get into any rhythm. Everybody knew how it was going to play out and who was doing what and then we had a bad pit stop when we tried to jump Helio there and that put us back a little ways. So it's frustrating but we only lost maybe five points in the championship."
Dan Wheldon: "A tough day for the Target team today. We were obviously on another strategy and we were doing alright and minding our own business. On the restart, Wilson and Dominguez got together and I got hit from behind. There was really nowhere to go so it's unfortunate. We came into the pits a few more times to top off and make sure we could run the remaining laps and get the most points available to us."