Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global

Dixon “didn’t have the pace” to fight for Laguna win

Scott Dixon, who finished 12th on a day he needed to win to stay in the championship hunt, says his CGR-Honda just wasn’t quick enough at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Watch: Laguna Seca IndyCar: Palou wins race, Power is champion

Wrong-footed in Q1 by Josef Newgarden spinning and causing a red flag and then Kyle Kirkwood ahead of him limiting his ability to warm up his tires on his sole chance to go for a flyer, Dixon was left down in 13th on the grid.

While he has proved able to storm through from mid-grid positions to reach the podium – as recently as Nashville he climbed from 14th to win in a damaged car, and in Portland he went from 16th to third. But today at Laguna Seca, that wasn’t feasible.

"We ultimately didn't have the pace,” said the six-time champion who nonetheless finished in the top three in the championship for the 14th time. “It was a strange race in that we tried everything that we could, we tried to short-stop, we kinda kept coming out into traffic.

“The one run we got clean air, our pace was as good as the leaders. Just frustrating, we couldn't bring what we needed today.

“Congrats to [race-winning teammate] Alex Palou, and Will Power on his second championship.

“You win some, you lose some. This team never gave up, we pushed as hard as we could. Unfortunately we ended up third.”

Taking stock of the season as a whole, in which he scored his 52nd and 53rd wins to surpass Mario Andretti’s win tally, Dixon stated: "As a group effort, everybody did a hell of a job this season, We finished every lap this year which is definitely a huge milestone in itself. That’s kudos to the team but also to our partners too, with Honda and HPD and the effort that goes into to making it all possible.

“We'll keep after it and we know exactly what we need to do in the offseason. Massive thanks to NTT and everyone involved, big thank to PNC Bank and everybody on this team who have worked so hard across all four teams.”

Teammate Marcus Ericsson fought hard with Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske at Laguna Seca but his ninth place finish, combined with McLaughlin’s sixth and Palou’s victory, meant the Swede slipped from fourth to sixth in the championship standings, the same position in which he finished in 2021.

"It was a tough race,” said this year’s Indy 500 winner. “We fought hard out there and gave everything but just not good enough. A very disappointing end of the season.

“Proud of the #8 car crew and Chip Ganassi Racing, they’ve done a tremendous job all year. Big thanks to them and congrats to Alex on the win today.”

Their teammate, NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson, was very upbeat after coming home 16th, ahead of established IndyCar aces such as Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves.

"It’s been an amazing year with so many awesome experiences,” he said. “Leading in the Indianapolis 500, running a full season, another year with this great team, another year with my great partners to make this all happen. My heart is full.

“I wish I had a little more pace on some of these tracks but that’s part of this journey I’m on. I love this racetrack and I’m so happy to finish on a high note.

“That was probably the most competitive I’ve been on a road course in passing cars and racing hard. We had some issues at the start of the race, and I had to drop back about 10 to 15 seconds after contact with the #4 car [Dalton Kellett]. To fight back from that and end up in 16th is really a great way to finish the race and to finish the season.”

 

 

 

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Palou elated by win, non-committal over Ganassi-McLaren dispute
Next article Lundgaard, Rahal: Route to IndyCar rookie title was “very tough”

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global