“Here, it’s very tough – a street course without much space,” Castroneves explained. “You want to win the race but first you have to finish. So far I hope they take my advice because that is what has worked for us.
“Last year in qualifying we had a little issue so hopefully we are staying away from that. Because of the weather it was raining and then it was try and that played a lot of tricks on each other. The main thing is to make a better car and also improve in some areas where we were weak last year. Hopefully, we’ll have a fast car this weekend.
“It’s a tough track which is why I enjoy it because you like that challenge of trying to overcome a trough track,” Castroneves said. “In this particular case you want to make it happen.”
There remain four races this season and with 212 points available Dixon has a chance to make up his 39-point deficit.
“Helio has a pretty smooth ride for the season and if you look at myself and Ryan Hunter-Reay who is in third we’ve had a couple DNFs,” Dixon said. “The law of averages you would say Helio would have an issue but we can’t affect what he does. We have to go on and do our own thing no matter what he does.”
Dixon believes the Team Penske rivalry with Target/Chip Ganassi Racing has heated up after last Sunday.
“There has always been a strong rivalry between the two and that is great for sports but the sportsmanship took a big knock last weekend with the way that they race,” Dixon said. “It is good that we have strong competitors. It’s not just Penske. Andretti is defending champion and a great team as well.
“Rivalries are strong and good for the sport.”
Cindric said he would have liked to have seen Dixon come down to see if Law and the other two crewmembers that were involved in getting knocked to the ground were OK but Dixon contends he has already made mention of his concern after last Sunday’s race.
“I am definitely glad everybody was OK,” Dixon said. “You never want to hit anybody or see anybody get hurt. It was good that they were not injured. I’ve said that and I asked my team after the race. Even when I watched the telecast I could see everybody was OK. That was a good moment when everybody got up and walked off. I was happy to see nobody was hurt.
“The racing would have been good between us at the end. It’s a shame we never got to see that.”
Even despite the Sonoma situation Dixon contends he can still win this championship.
“I feel we have a great shot,” Dixon said. “That’s all we need is a great shot. As long as we put our head down and go for it and give it our best and if we do come up short it just wasn’t meant to be. But we have a great shot, are going to dig as deep at possible and try to pull it off.”