IndyCar: Dixon survives wild day at Portland to finish fifth and increase his points lead

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The saying goes that sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good. Well, on Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland, Scott Dixon certainly had luck on his side.

The luck came in multiple areas. Dixon was caught up on a Lap 1 pileup sparked by contact between James Hinchcliffe and Zach Veach – Marco Andretti notably went airborne and flipped in the incident.

“I thought it was pretty bad. I couldn’t see anything. Once I got off in the dirt, it was just dust everywhere. And I kept getting hit and hit, and I’m like ‘Oh God, this is not gonna be good. Surely the car ix gonna be in a bit of trouble,'” Dixon told NBCSN’s Kevin Lee after the race.

However, while Dixon did slide off into the dirt in the aftermath, he somehow did not suffer any damage. He was also able to keep his No. 9 PNC Bank Honda running, found reverse, and rejoined the field without losing a lap.

“The car was still running, I selected reverse, and had enough room to back out. And once the truck moved I was able to pull away,” Dixon explained.

Luck again turned in his favor on Lap 56 when, following a penalty for a pit speed violation, a caution flew for a spinning Zach Veach. The yellow destroyed the strategy for drivers like Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, who were running 1-2 at the time, but played right into the hands of Dixon.

While Newgarden and Rossi pitted under yellow and fell back to 16th and 17th, Dixon stayed out to regain track position – he restarted in fourth on Lap 61.

With the whole of the field needing one more pit stop to make the finish, Dixon suddenly found himself in position to pad his points lead over Rossi.

Indeed, Dixon ultimately soldiered home to finish an impressive fifth, and with Rossi only able to climb up to eighth at the checkered flag, Dixon increased his points lead to 29 ahead of the season-ending INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma.

“Huge day for the team,” Dixon added. “This feels like a win for us in these circumstances. Lucky to keep the car going. Then we had a drive-through penalty with speeding on pit lane, which must’ve been a technical glitch because I definitely turned it off after – it was nothing that I did. Crazy, crazy!

Still, Dixon is not putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. He acknowledged that, with double points in play at Sonoma, 29 points is not a big gap, and Rossi is still very much in the thick of it.

“Obviously, going into Sonoma, (29 points) is not huge amount,” Dixon finished. “We’ll have to see how it affected (Will Power) as well. But, just really happy for the team. These guys and girls have worked so hard. I’m just stoked for them.”

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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