A Texan story of what might need been for Dixon
Scott Dixon was probably the most dominant driver all through the NTT IndyCar Collection doubleheader spherical at Texas Motor Speedway.
The 40-year-old Kiwi stormed to the checkered flag within the weekend’s first race on Saturday evening, main 206 of 212 laps en path to his fifth victory on the 1.5-mile oval. Nonetheless, regardless of ranging from pole and pacing the sphere for 163 of 248 laps in Sunday’s race, he ended up fourth and was compelled to look at Pato O’Ward dance within the sea of confetti that rained down in Victory Lane.
From the drop of the inexperienced flag, Dixon appeared in management and cruising in the direction of his 52nd IndyCar win – a mark that may have tied him with Mario Andretti for second on the all-time record. Regardless of having a commanding presence on the entrance of the sphere, the three-stop technique grew to become about hitting the proper gasoline quantity, which was more durable to realize whereas main. Slowly, different gamers – Josef Newgarden, O’Ward and Graham Rahal – got here into the combo. By lap 140, Rahal was within the lead and Dixon adopted in an effort to make higher mileage for the three-stopper.
Though the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda regained possession of the sphere, it might be temporary after pitting from the lead on lap 186. From there, O’Ward and Newgarden, who pitted on lap 187 and 189, respectively, had been in a position to work the technique to get the perfect of Dixon, who additionally fell behind Rahal regardless of pitting on the identical lap. It additionally didn’t assist Dixon’s agenda when the warning fell on lap 190 for a misplaced tire from Felix Rosenqvist’s automobile on the backstretch. The misplaced monitor place was an excessive amount of for Dixon to beat when the race resumed with 51 laps to go.
Whereas the win escaped the clutches of the six-time IndyCar champion, he leaves the fourth race of 2021 with a 22-point lead over O’Ward within the standings. Making the lengthy stroll down pit street again to the paddock, Dixon was as perplexed about the place all of it went fallacious.
“Troublesome to say,” Dixon advised RACER. “As I mentioned going into the race, each race may be very totally different. You possibly can’t suppose it’s going to go the identical as [Saturday] evening. I feel we had actually good tempo, particularly over the long term, after which no person wished to guide. So we had been having to attempt to make a gasoline quantity, and while you’re out entrance, it’s virtually not possible. I used to be really impressed by Honda and HPD that they had been in a position to get the mileage that we needed to, however on laps the place we’d be sometimes doing 214mph averages, we had been having to do 204s. So very unusual. I acquired on the radio at one level, I’m like, ‘that is the strangest race I’ve been part of for a very long time.’ Irritating.
“It labored out for these (different) guys with the warning. Josef acquired fortunate with being within the pits on the time ,and Pato jumped us as effectively as a result of all of us slowed down. I don’t know. It’s a kind of issues, however good factors for us. I can’t complain.”