Dixon, Kanaan left frustrated after reliability woes end win hopes in Iowa

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Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan were left frustrated after issues on their cars ended their hopes of winning the Iowa Corn 300 on Saturday night.

After qualifying second at Iowa Speedway behind compatriot Helio Castroneves, Kanaan moved into the lead of the race ahead of the first round of pit stops with Dixon in tow.

The duo had put on a show under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway at the beginning of June when Dixon headed up a Chip Ganassi Racing one-two.

However, a repeat result failed to materialize on Saturday. After falling behind Josef Newgarden at the front, Kanaan was forced to bring his car into the pits on lap 190 and switch off due to a suspected engine issue.

The Brazilian was far from impressed, throwing his helmet down in frustration, but admitted after the race that there was little more he could have done.

“I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for us here today,” Kanaan said. “The Fusion car was really awesome and we had a really fast car all weekend.

“When mechanical problems happen, there’s not much you can do.

“I’ve had a ton of these races go my way, and a ton that haven’t gone my way. There’s just not much you can do in that situation.”

Ganassi’s fortunes took another turn for the worse 40 laps later when Dixon dropped back after fighting for second place with eventual winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Dixon crawled back to the pits, and after a failed attempt to get his car going again, the team was forced to take him back to the garage for repairs.

Remarkably, he was sent back out 27 laps later, allowing him to finish the race in 18th place and post the fastest lap.

“I think we had a really fast car this weekend,” Dixon said. “The Target car was good and in the top three, and I thought it was a contender all night.

“We had to overcome some challenges during the race but we stuck with it. We made a ton of changes and were really trying to just keep up with the track all night.”

Dixon had the chance to slash Juan Pablo Montoya’s lead at the top of the drivers’ championship following the Colombian’s early retirement, but remains 48 points behind with three races remaining.

“I thought we were getting a break with Montoya going out early, and then we had a weird problem with the right rear axle,” he said.

“The Target team did a great job getting us back out and that’s all you can ask for in that situation.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Ganassi in Iowa, though, as Sage Karam scored his maiden IndyCar podium following a spirited battle with Ed Carpenter in the closing stages of the race.