Dixon Recovers To Score A Third Place Finish
Defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon driving the No.9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing who started Sunday’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach from the front row in second place alongside Alexander Rossi recoverd from a poor second pit-stop to finish the race in third place.
The Iceman had an 18s pit-stop during his final stop which sent him back to fifth place and he fought his way back to fourth and was then promoted to a podium after Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 Total Honda was deemed by IndyCar officials to have blocked Dixon.
Speaking following the race Dixon said:
“It was unfortunate with the Graham Rahal incident. I think he overshot Turn 8 and then quickly tried to turn in reaction. The rule is you can’t come back to defend if somebody’s already there, and that’s what happened.
“It was just one of those things. Had he not reacted there, we would have (passed him) anyway. But it’s racing, hard racing.”
Dixon went on to say:
It was OK for us, and all those other guys did two tires runs and we got stuck at one, so I’m not sure how that will shake out for tomorrow. It’s hard to know how hard to push, especially with the tires on the first and second lap. I think there was a couple of tenths (of a second) may be in it, maybe not the four we needed, though. (Alexander) Rossi did a good job there, but let’s see what tomorrow brings. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow in the PNC Bank car, and I think we’re in a strong position and I think we can keep it in the front.”
Felix Rosenqvist in the No.10 NTT DATA Honda rounded out the top ten and speaking following the day’s action he said:
(The contact with the wall) was a driver mistake, definitely. I had a good lap, then went for a second one that looked a bit slower, but probably tried too hard there in the last sector. It’s always within thousands and hundreds of a second, and you don’t really want to relax even if you’ve had a good lap time. The instruction is always to push until the end. It’s always such a small margin, so just a slight mistake looking up over the bump will cost you. I maybe broke three to four feet later than the lap before, and that was enough to down settle the front and I got out in the dirt a little bit. It’s done and I couldn’t make it to the safety zone, so I was sort of stuck in the middle there and hit the tires. It was really unfortunate, but that’s on me. The NTT DATA car was really good today, so credit to the boys and we’ll focus on the race tomorrow.”