Dixon and Wheldon 11th and 24th at Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 7, 2008)-With Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon in second position and eyeing Darren Manning for the lead with 10 laps to go, the Kiwi spun warming up his tires and...
Dixon and Wheldon 11th and 24th at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 7, 2008)-With Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon in second position and eyeing Darren Manning for the lead with 10 laps to go, the Kiwi spun warming up his tires and collected Ryan Briscoe, ending hopes of extending his streak of three straight wins at Watkins Glen on Sunday. Target teammate Dan Wheldon was sideswiped on the opening lap, forced into the grass and then onto pit lane with right rear suspension damage. While Dixon would rebound to finish 11th, the No.10 team worked to get Wheldon's car back on track to pick up as many points as possible before finishing 24th.
Dixon's race got slowed from the start as IRL officials ordered Dixon to relinquish second position on the first lap for jumping the start. Wheldon was already on pit lane before the race had begun to get in a rhythm, as the team went behind the wall to finish repair work which was completed by lap 20.
By lap 36, Dixon was getting the fuel numbers the No.9 team needed to position themselves for the finish, but Wheldon's race was over on lap 38 as the team retired due to the fact they couldn't make up any more positions given the amount of laps left in the race.
On lap 50, Dixon had charged forward and had his sights set on Manning, but a spin under yellow sent him back to 15th place. Over the final nine laps he overtook four cars--including championship contender Helio Castroneves who came home 16th--to finish 11th.
Even with the 11th place result, Dixon extended his IndyCar Series championship lead from 43 to 48 over Castroneves, with Wheldon now 59 points back in third. Up next for the Target team is Nashville Superspeedway Saturday, July 12th (8:00 p.m. EDT, ESPN) where Dixon is the defending winner of the event.
Scott Dixon: "I lost an opportunity for some very valuable points today. I got a bit aggressive and was trying to get some heat in the tires and just spun. I feel worse for Briscoe and his guys after he had nowhere to go and got into the back of me. Tough day for the Target team today."
Dan Wheldon: "Going up the hill I think there was a slower car and everyone behind them had to scatter. I got hit on the right side after making a move to avoid the slower car, but someone got into me and broke our right rear suspension. I took a ride through the grass and after that the Target team did the best they could to get us back on track for points."