Posted October 06, 2013 on AP on Fox
Scott Dixon took control of the IndyCar championship race when Helio Castroneves suffered his second mechanical failure in two days at the Grand Prix of Houston, where the race ended when Dario Franchitti's car went airborne into the fence on the final lap. The accident in Turn 5 happened when Franchitti, the four-time IndyCar champion, made contact with Takuma Sato. Franchitti's car launched over Sato's and sailed into the fence, showering debris into the grandstand before Franchitti's car came back onto the track. E.J. Viso then hit Sato's car. The caution came out to freeze the field, allowing Penske Racing's Will Power to win the race and halting Dixon's final attempt for a doubleheader sweep. Dixon settled for second. After coming into the Houston doubleheader trailing Castroneves by 49 points, Dixon goes into the Oct. 19 season finale with a 25-point lead. There was no celebration, though, for Dixon or Power, who raced to his second victory of the season. Both had to drive through the wreckage from the three-car accident and past Franchitti, who sat inside his car waiting for medical attention. Dixon waved to his teammate and got only a slight head nod back, and team owner Chip Ganassi rode a scooter out to the scene. Franchitti was placed on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to a hospital complaining of a sore ankle and back. ''Dario definitely got into the fence pretty hard,'' Dixon said. ''All in all I hope that he's OK and obviously the fans. The fence took a pretty good hit there.'' It appeared parts and pieces from Franchitti's car flew into the grandstand. IndyCar said one series official was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries. There was no immediate word on potential injuries to fans. Castroneves, who also had a gearbox problem in Saturday's race, finished 23rd. He had started on the pole, got a great jump on the standing start to get past Dixon for the lead, but Dixon was screaming on his radio within minutes that Castroneves' car was leaking oil everywhere and it was splashing onto Dixon's tires and visor. Castroneves said little to his Penske Racing team, but detected a vibration in his car with every shift of the gears after just a handful of laps. The problem worsened and he came to a complete stop on the course at Reliant Park after just 11 laps. ''It's frustrating and disappointing,'' Castroneves said. ''It hurts. It really hurts.'' His car was towed to the garage with a broken gearbox, Castroneves made the long walk back still wearing his helmet, and team owner Roger Penske retreated without comment into a team transporter. The team eventually replaced the gearbox and Castroneves returned to the track, 36 laps down and needing a miracle in Fontana, where the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner was fastest during an open test last week.

Dixon moves within 8 points of Helio

Scott Dixon won the first race of the Houston Grand Prix on a disastrous day for Penske Racing and IndyCar championship leader Helio Castroneves. Castroneves entered Saturday's race with a 49-point lead over Dixon with three events left on the schedule. But a gearbox issue early in the race led to an 18th-place finish for Castroneves. Then a slow pit stop by the Penske team...

Dixon wins at Houston, breathes down Castroneves’ neck

After a dismal month of August, Scott Dixon had a polar opposite day today and won the Grand Prix of Houston-Race 1. Helio Castroneves on the other had by far his worst race weekend of the year–finishing in 18th. “I hope they’re worried, man,” said Dixon. “It’s a 41-point turnaround today. And hopefully we can have another good race tomorrow. It would be nice to be in...

IndyCar: Great Weekend for Justin Wilson in Houston

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IndyCar: Tough Opening Day for Title Contenders in Houston

Houston, TX- It wasn’t the type of day for Izod IndyCar Series title contenders wanted when they practiced for the first time ever in the streets of Houston. Helio Castroneves enters this weekend with a sizable 49 points lead over second place Scott Dixon. The next closest guy to him in the championship hunt in Simon Pagenaud whos’ 70 points out. All three had high hopes for...

IndyCar: Will Power WINS Scary Ending to Second Houston Dual

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...

IndyCar: Scott Dixon Prevails in Houston and Capitalizes on Great Points Day

Houston, TX- What a weekend it’s been for Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon. The two-time Izod IndyCar Series champion was sixth quickest in practice yesterday and backed that up with a third place start for today’s first dual on the streets of Houston. It was already shaping up for a great weekend after that but he got an added bonus as points leader Helio Castroneves...

Race 2 qualifying scrapped in Houston, field set by entrant points

Due to standing water and visibility issues caused by rain, qualifying for Race 2 of the Houston Grand Prix has been cancelled and the field will be set by entrant points. “At a road course we wouldn’t have had this issue, but street courses puddle a lot,” said Dixon. “We probably would have crashed a few cars in Q1 and cancelled Q2.” Scott Dixon will start on pole, but...

Power wins race 2 in Houston, huge crash on last lap

Will Power’s second win of the season took a bit of a moot point after a very scary crash on the last lap of the race involving Dario Franchitti, Takuma Sato and EJ Viso. Sato swerved going into the turn 5 right hander which borders the Reliant Astrodome and Franchitti ran into him and caught air and hit the catch fencing with the bottom of the car first. The fence was severely...
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