Madison, Ill – All weekend long, the only real drama was which Team Penske driver was going to take the win in Saturday night’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500. The other big question was would they sweep the podium?
They almost did.
If not for contact with Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden with 30 laps-to-go, they would have at least been 1-2. But, Scott Dixon used that contact to his advantage and skated by to second place.
He’d finish there too.
Dixon, would bring his No. 9 Honda home second for his 37th career IndyCar runner-up as well as his 95th career podium. But, despite those accolades, he felt like he “stole” a finish as this second place run felt almost like a win to him.
“I did,” Dixon said if he got wide eyed when Newgarden moved to pass Pagenaud with 30 to go. “I was maybe expecting it to maybe go slightly different there and we pick up two spots in the process. I think if we were leading there in the end we would have been a sitting duck anyway. We just had so much drag that the only way we had any speed was when we were running behind somebody.”
Dixon, trails Newgarden by 31 points heading to Watkins Glen as he thinks that puts him in the running for another championship come Sonoma.
With Dixon winning at Watkins Glen last year and being really dominate at the next two tracks, he’s one to watch still for his year’s championship.
“I think the last two will certainly be strong for us. Hopefully come Sonoma we will have fighting chance.”
But, Dixon says if not for some bad races, he should have a big lead in the standings instead.
“Had we had a few races to finish well, we could be in a different situation,” Dixon told me. “We should have won St. Pete. We should have won Long Beach. We should have had a first or second at Texas and we could have had a better finish with double points at Indianapolis. So, there’s 50 or points more to take a hit on we left off the table. That’s certainly frustrating.
That move to let Dixon by though to finish second could be the one that could possibly allow him to win this year’s championship. He gained valuable points because of that.