Houston, TX- It was a very good points day for Scott Dixon as he took over the Izod IndyCar Series points lead after the two races in Houston this weekend.
It would have been even bigger but Helio Castroneves’ Team Penske teammate Will Power took the lead from Dixon on Lap 39 on the restart and never looked back.
Before Power passed Dixon it was looking like Dixie would lead by nearly 40 points heading to the season finale in Fontana in two weeks. He took over the lead on Lap 10 when Castroneves’ gear box failed for the second straight day and was trying to lead the most laps en route to a sweep in Houston. Power wanted to help his teammate out in his first title efforts and raced hard all day.
By getting by Dixon and leading the most laps he took the New Zealand natives lead down to 25 heading into Fontana. Power beat Dixon today by 0.828 seconds.
James Hinchcliffe finished third after not completing a lap in yesterday’s race after developing an issue on the start. It was a great turnaround for him.
Castroneves started on the pole by benefit of rain this morning cancelling the qualifying session. The lineup was determined by points but he started leaking oil from the get go. As I stated earlier his gear box failed on Lap 10 and he wouldn’t get back out until he was 36 laps down. He was able to gain one position with Tony Kanaan’s day ending on a Lap 33 crash. He would finish 18th and 23rd respectively this weekend taking his 49 point lead entering Houston to being down by 25 points.
The race had eight cautions today but no incident was scarier than the last lap crash with Takuma Sato, Dario Franchitti and E.J. Viso. Sato and Franchitti touched on a fast part of the track and it sent Franchitti’s car airborne into the fencing. Sato would spin down the track and Viso nailed the No. 14 ABC Supply Company Honda while he was coming to a rest.
Franchitti was moving but was clearly shaken up. Officials said after the wreck that Franchitti was awake and alert but complaining of back and ankle pain.
Justin Wilson who finished third yesterday came home fourth while Sebastien Bourdais was rounded out the top five.
The series returns to action in two weeks for the MAVTV 500 in Fontana for the last race of the season. The championship comes down to Dixon vs. Castroneves as everyone else was eliminated today.
1. 12 Power
2. 9 Dixon
3. 27 Hinchcliffe
4. 19 Wilson
5. 7 Bourdais
6. 77 Pagenaud
7. 4 Servia
8. 83 Kimball
9. 18 Conway
10. 78 de Silvestro
11. 55 Vautier R
12. 6 Saavedra
13. 67 Newgarden
14. 14 Sato OUT
15. 10 Franchitti OUT
16. 5 Viso OUT
17. 16 Jakes -1
18. 15 Rahal -2
19 98 Filippi R -2
20. 25 Andretti -2
21. 1 Hunter-Reay -3
22. 20 Carpenter OUT
23. 3 Castroneves -37
24. 11 Kanaan OUT
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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