Scott Dixon has a rather sizable trophy case, which features a “Baby Borg” for his 2008 Indianapolis 500 win and two IZOD IndyCar Series championships. But the addition of a winner’s trophy from Barber Motorsports Park will have to wait another year.
For the fourth consecutive season, Dixon came up just one spot short at the Alabama road course. In 2010, he chased Helio Castroneves to the checkered flag. Then in 2011 and 2012, it was Will Power that kept him from the top spot on the podium. And today, it was Ryan Hunter-Reay who held him off in this year’s running in Alabama.
“Our car was very quick, but clearly I have to go out and buy a bridesmaid’s dress tonight,” said Dixon, who moved to second in the championship behind Helio Castroneves (who finished third in the race).
After qualifying fourth on Saturday, Dixon fell back a couple of spots while avoiding contact with Will Power at the start of the race. But he managed to hang around the top five and found himself sitting in third position after his final stop at Lap 65. Then on Lap 77 — one lap after Hunter-Reay had passed Castroneves for the lead — Dixon got by the Brazilian for second position and attempted to cut into RHR’s advantage.
Unfortunately for him, he could only halve it and lost out to Hunter-Reay by six-tenths of a second at the finish.
“Spending so much time in traffic, especially in the middle part of the race, hurt us,” said Dixon. “It left us with too much ground to make up after the final round of pit stops.”
Still, Dixon salvaged the day for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, whose other driver, Dario Franchitti, was forced to bow out after 42 laps due to a broken header on his machine.