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Scott Dixon captures 2013 IndyCar title with fifth at Fontana

Oct 20, 2013, 12:31 AM EDT

Scott Dixon has won his third career IZOD IndyCar Series championship after a controlled drive in the season finale, the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. It matches his “years of five” rule, after also winning titles in 2003 and 2008.

Dixon finished fifth as polesitter Will Power won the race. He’ll have a margin of victory of 27 points in the series standings. Attrition played a massive role as only eight of the 25 cars that started finished, easily the fewest this season.

“It was a crazy day,” Dixon told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee in victory lane. “We started back, the car we had to work on all race. It’s a huge credit to Team Target. We had strategy and some overheating problems to the end. Can’t believe we won the championship. I guess the five year thing played out, through the trials and tribulations this year.”

“Dario I owe this to you, a crazy year, hope you’re back in the car soon, thanks man,” he added, to longtime teammate Dario Franchitti.

Helio Castroneves ran in the top five most of the race, but he needed to finish first or second to have any shot at overtaking the points leader and erasing the 25-point deficit.

The crucial point for Dixon, who started only 17th after an engine change and a 10-spot grid penalty, was the second round of pit stops on Lap 73. Dixon gained six positions on that pit stop exchange and advanced to sixth place.

The final blow for Castroneves came on Lap 211, when team boss and race strategist Roger Penske called him into the pits for a stop when pit lane was closed.

Castroneves started at the back of the queue after a restart following a spin by Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Tagliani.

Despite the setback, Castroneves made his restart on Lap 216 a good one. He gained eight spots in two laps, from 11th place to third, even to the lead temporarily. But damage to his right front wing and a pit stop on Lap 227 basically ended his chances. He finished sixth.

  1. kitnamania13 - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Good on Will for finally winning a 500-miler. Even better on him for sticking it to the detestable runner-up in his post-race interview.

    • snoopyo - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      I agree kitna I enjoyed his post race interview as well.

    • midtec2005 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      I liked that interview as well. You just knew he would be emotional after finally winning an oval (without the stupid random draw from Texas). He definitely exercised some demons.

  2. indycarseries500 - Oct 20, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Hands down the best race of the year, any series. This track is just about perfect for racing, just need to get those seams in order.

  3. Jeff - Oct 20, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    Congrats to Power and Dixon.
    Fantastic race, fantastic way to end the season.
    Glad Dixon was able to outlast Helio for the series championship.
    I’m looking forward to 2014 already.

  4. deborahagriffin - Oct 20, 2013 at 6:52 AM

    nice article

  5. deborahagriffin - Oct 20, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    good work

  6. snoopyo - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    I hope Wilson is ok and can recover this is his 2nd bad injury in the last few years, he had an awesome season finishing 6th in the points driving for Dale Coyne of all teams. Congrats to Will maybe this will silence his oval critics he was awesome out there and despite how bad of a season he had he still finished 4th in points but getting that oval win was big for him. Well congrats to Dixon on his third title no offense to Helio but Dixon was more impressive this year and he deserved to win the title and he is only 33 years old so he could win another title or two and I think he can get to 40 plus wins and end up in the top 3 in career wins. This could have easily been his 4th or 5th title but the guy has had some bad luck in his career. A fun season great to see TK finally win the 500 and saw a lot of first time winners.

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