Eight days ago, Dixon was seventh in points 92 out. Three races later he is second in points, just 29 behind Helio Castroneves.
“More importantly, we’re here for the points,” Dixon said. “It’s been a helluva swing over a seven-day period. We were 92 points out and now we’re like 27 out. It’s nice to put a little pressure on Helio, and hopefully we can keep that going.
“Helio has had a pretty stress-free year as far as not being involved in accidents or having mechanicals. Ryan Hunter-Reay, every time I kept seeing him this weekend, he was in some kind of altercation. He lost a lot of points over the weekend. I think it’s still going to be a tough battle. I like the look of the tracks we have coming up. I think we are in the hunt. I think some tracks we’ll be at a slight disadvantage to the Chevys, some we might have an advantage. This weekend was a bit of an eye opener for our team at least. Some of the other Hondas were not up maybe where they should have been.”
After faltering on its first attempt at a standing start in Saturday’s race that led to the controversial decision to abort and go with a rolling start, Sunday was much different.
The standing start went off without a hitch — and without a Hinch.
Toronto’s own James Hinchcliffe had a stuck throttle that kept his Dallara/Chevrolet from joining the field on the formation lap. His crew worked on the car in pit lane and wasn’t able to join the field until lap five.
“The throttle stuck (on the start) — it’s pretty simple,” Hinchcliffe said. “I was just going through the routine of the standing start, and as soon as I put my thumb on the throttle, it stuck 100 percent, and that was about a minute before they gave the command (to start engines). We tried WD-40, but unfortunately that wasn’t the magic fix, and we had to replace the pedal and went three laps down right off the bat. Then we had no yellows to help us out; we ran around in the back all day. Obviously gutted for the team and for GoDaddy, but more than anyone for the fans. It sucks for everyone that came out today. I was hoping for better in my hometown. But we weren’t going to give up — I wanted to go out, finish the race and get any points we could.”
Dixon’s No. 9 Target car was gone and unchallenged for most of the race.
After James Jakes’ wall-banger, the green flag waved with just 14 laps to go and Dixon in front. He got a great lead but in the group of cars behind him it was a scramble for position with Castroneves mired behind a few lapped cars.
Dixon drove away from the field with the Team Penske duo of Helio Castroneves and Will Power behind him when Ed Carpenter crashed in turn five with just five laps remaining to bring out the third caution period of the race.
Once again Dixon had a great start with three laps to go but when Ryan Hunter-Reay slammed into Power it sent both cars into the wall it ensured a yellow flag finish. Takuma Sato, who was placed a five-race probation earlier this weekend, ran into the back of Hunter-Reay.