Scott Dixon added a fifth Astor Cup IndyCar championship trophy officially Tuesday night. Photo: IndyCar

IndyCar officially brings 2018 season to a close with awards ‘Victory Lap’

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INDIANAPOLIS — Even though the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season ended Sept. 16 at Sonoma Raceway, the season wasn’t officially over until the handing out of the hardware during Tuesday night’s Victory Lap awards celebration.

2018 Series champ Scott Dixon was feted and applauded for becoming only the second driver in Indy car history to earn five career championships — and the first to do so in 51 years since the legendary A.J. Foyt won his fifth title (Foyt would go on to win two more championships before retiring).

The evening, held at Indy’s trendy Union50 restaurant and attended by about 200, included a number of IndyCar drivers such as Sonoma winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. Numerous recipients and awards presenters publicly wished injured driver Robert Wickens a speedy recovery from the horrific crash he was involved in at Pocono Raceway on August 19.

Wickens appeared to the audience in a pre-taped video presentation, congratulating Dixon and hoping to return to compete in the series soon.

The evening also essentially marked the unofficial end of Verizon as the series’ entitlement sponsor, a role it had held for the last five seasons. Verizon is discontinuing its role as entitlement sponsor at year’s end, but will remain in the sport as sponsor for Will Power’s No. 12 Team Penske car in 2019.

Several award winners publicly thanked Verizon for its support and help in growing the sport over the last five seasons.

While most of the award winners had been previously announced over the last few weeks, Tuesday was an opportunity to get every award winner under one roof to receive their trophies and the like.

Here’s the full list of award recipients:

Verizon P1 Championship Award: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske

3rd Place Championship Driver: Will Power, Team Penske

2nd Place Championship Driver: Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport

Verizon IndyCar Series Champion: Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing

Sunoco Rookie of the Year: Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Manufacturer Championship Award: Honda (accepted by Art St. Cyr, President, Honda Performance Development), the first time Honda has won the award since returning the series in 2012

Verizon IndyCar Series Championship Owner: Chip Ganassi, Chip Ganassi Racing

Championship Chief Mechanic/Team Manager Award: Blair Julian, Mike Hull, Scott Harner and Barry Wanser, Chip Ganassi Racing

Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing

Indy Family Foundation Award: Racing for Cancer

Penske Racing Shocks Award: Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon

Firestone Drive to the Finish Award: Alexander Rossi, who completed all but two laps in the entire 2018 race season

TAG Heuer “Don’t Crack Under Pressure Award: Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

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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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