INDYCAR SERIES Meijer Indy 300Final
Dixon captures Meijer Indy 300Aug 10, 2008 - 5:30 AM SPARTA, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon now have something other than a racing team in common.
Dixon won Saturday's Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, tying Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Wheldon for most victories in a single season on the IndyCar Series circuit with his sixth.
Wheldon, who finished fifth on the 1.5-mile tri-oval, also recorded six wins on the circuit in 2005.
"I am really happy for Scott Dixon and all the guys at Target Chip Ganassi," Wheldon said. "It was a competitive race and it seemed like we rode pretty well."
One day after winning his fifth pole of the year, Dixon entered the final lap trailing Helio Castroneves, who was seeking his first win of 2008. But on Turn 4, the Brazilian slowed down thanks to a lack of fuel, allowing the New Zealander to pass on the outside and win by a margin of 0.5532 of a second.
"We took a big gamble (with fuel strategy)," Castroneves said. "The fuel light came on with a couple of laps to go, so we came up just a little bit short. ... Coming out of the last turn, the fuel pressure went on and I started to lift. I was just a few hundred yards short."
"Helio made it very hard to pass," said Dixon, who has 16 career wins. "I tried one lap on the outside and one on the inside. He tried to run me on the grass even going into the pits, so I'm definitely happy."
The finish nearly was a carbon copy of last season's final race at Chicagoland Speedway, where Dixon ran out of fuel on the last lap and was passed by Dario Franchitti for the victory.
"I think that when it's your year, things just seem to go your way," Dixon said. "It was crazy at the end. ... It definitely was a role reversal from Chicago last year. Dario called me in Victory Circle, and I told him the (passing) view was definitely better."
It was the second consecutive victory for Dixon, who has captured four of the five races in which he was the pole-sitter this season. He also won the Rexall Edmonton Indy on July 26.
With Saturday's win, Dixon moved 78 points ahead of Castroneves for first place in the standings.
For the 33-year-old Castroneves, it was the seventh second-place finish of the year and third in a row. The last triumph on the race track for the former "Dancing With the Stars" champion came in April 2007 at St. Petersburg.
"I really don't know what I have to do (to win) this year," Castroneves said. "I tried everything, we tried everything, but it seems like second place is our destiny this year."
Marco Andretti finished third, while Vitor Meira was fourth. Tony Kanaan, last year's winner, was eighth.
Forced to start last in the 26-car field due to a practice-session crash that prevented her from making a qualifying attempt, Danica Patrick finished 11th and was eliminated from championship contention.
- Meijer Indy 300 Preview Aug 5