Watkins Glen, NY – It was already shaping up to be a good weekend for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon. After all, he was quickest in two of the three Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions at Watkins Glen and even qualified his No. 9 Honda on the front row for Sunday’s race.
Most of the race too, he outpaced points leader Josef Newgarden as well. But, he was gifted a huge present in the shape of an Astor Cup trophy on Lap 45.
Newgarden, pitted from the lead in his No. 2 Chevrolet, but the points leader heading into this weekend exiting pit lane too hot and got into the guardrail at pit exit. He then was hit by Sebastien Bourdais causing a ton of damage.
Meanwhile, Dixon was running second and would finish there for his 38th career IndyCar runner-up, moving into third place on the all-time second place finishers list by himself. It was also his 96th career podium (5th all-time) and 140th career top five which ties him for fourth all-time.
But, the biggest win though is that he’s now just three points out of the lead heading to the season finale at Sonoma in two weeks, a spot where he can easily win the championship. With it being a double points weekend, all he has to do is finish ahead of Newgarden and the title is his.
“It was a good day for points,” Dixon said after the race. “Kind of shocked we ended up where we did. We had to pass a lot of cars and it certainly was a lot of work. Great for the team to end up second and good for points. It’s definitely going to be close.
Dixon, now has 10 straight top 10 finishes on the season and 15 in 16 races. He’s also won two of the last three races at Sonoma.