Thursday, December 8, 2022

Dominant Dixon ‘Just Messed Up’ as Pit Road Penalty Ends Indy 500 Victory Bid

Scott Dixon saw hopes of a second Indy 500 victory dashed on the final pit stop.
Scott Dixon’s dominant run came undone on the final pit stop for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Image courtesy of James Black / Penske Entertainment

A dominant performance fell apart late with an uncharacteristic mistake by Scott Dixon in the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

The six-time NTT IndyCar Series champion was a mainstay at the front of the field, leading a race-high 95 laps after starting on pole and appearing poised for a return to trip to Victory Lane for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for the first time since 2008.

Dixon, who surpassed Al Unser Sr.’s all-time mark of 644 laps led in the Indy 500 (on Lap 133 of 200), was in a tense battle for the lead late in the running with the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet of Pato O’Ward. As the final series of pit stops began, the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda of Dixon dove to pit road, having a brief moment under braking ahead of being serviced.

Once he returned back to the track, IndyCar officials found him guilty of a pit lane speed violation, with the outcome being a drive thru penalty. The error left Dixon with a 21st-place finish.

“It’s just heartbreaking, to be honest,” Dixon told NBC. “I don’t know. It must have been very close. I kind of came into the pit and had to lock the rears. Kind of locked all four and I knew it was going to be close. I think it was a mile an hour over or something. Just frustrating.

“The car was really good all day. We had really good speed. I think the team did an amazing job on strategy. I just messed up.”

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