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Scott Dixon improves 14 positions to finish fourth at Phoenix

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Scott Dixon was the biggest mover of the Desert Diamond West Casino Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway, improving from a starting position of 18th to finish fourth in Saturday night’s race.

Dixon knew the race was going to be rough on Friday when he qualified 10 spots worse than he ever has at Phoenix. On two previous occasions on this track, Dixon started as high as eighth and won in 2016 and finished runner-up in 2004.

It took more than a fast car to earn his fourth career top five on this track. It took a complete effort from the team.

“We just had a smooth race,” Dixon told NBC’s Robin Miller on pit road after the race. “No major problems – kept picking off people when we needed to. Got a lot on the stops, a little bit on the exchanges too.”

Dixon benefitted from quick service on the final pit stop. With three drivers staying out on old tires during a caution for a crash involving Ed Jones with 21 laps remaining, Dixon was the second driver to leave pit road behind eventual winner Josef Newgarden.

Dixon restarted fifth and picked up one more spot in the mad dash to the checkers.

“These are the weekend when you really fight for championships,” Dixon said. “When you don’t have the best car, you try to salvage the best you can out of it. Tonight wasn’t really my night but big credit to the crew and everybody on the strategy side.”

Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett killed in Pennsylvania race crash

Photo: World of Outlaws
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YORK HAVEN, Pa. (AP) — Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett died after a crash Thursday night at BAPS Motor Speedway.

The 49-year-old Hodnett, from Spring Grove, Pa., was the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year in 1993 and went on to win 20 World of Outlaws races. He won the opening night this year at the Knoxville Nationals.

“Greg represented the true gentleman competitor in the pit area,” World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter said.

A statement was posted on Hodnett’s racing website, saying: “Please keep (wife) Sherry, the entire Hodnett family, and the Heffner racing team in your thoughts and prayers.

“Greg was a professional in every sense of the word, and will be desperately missed!”

Several NASCAR drivers took to Twitter to express their condolences: