A ‘rookie mistake’ by Scott Dixon on Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course likely means the IndyCar championship battle will come down to the last race next month in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Dixon could only muster a 10th place finish on Saturday after a subpar qualifying effort while defending champion Josef Newgarden gained 20 points with a runner-up result in the first half of the weekend doubleheader.
The weekend got considerably worse for the five-time champion on Sunday when he spun from second place on Lap 22 and fell all the way to 20th. Dixon was running third behind Colton Herta and Santino Ferrucci on a Lap 19 restart but was unable to complete the pass.
He had pressure from Ryan Hunter-Reay behind him and went too wide and into the Turn 1 grass.
SCOTT DIXON SPINS!
The @IndyCar championship leader gets into the dirt and loses control. Coverage continues from @Mid_Ohio on @nbc.
Stream: https://t.co/THKlb49aWT pic.twitter.com/H0pPcZ96gq
He fought his way back to 10th for the second race in a row — limiting additional championship damage since Newgarden could only reach as high as eighth in Sunday’s race.
Still, Dixon entered the weekend with a 96-point advantage and saw it decrease to 72 by Sunday night. This is important because the championship race is double points, meaning that anyone within 100 is mathematically eligible, even if it’s a tall hill to climb.
But one more Mulligan from Dixon could close the gap considerably.
“I got a little aggressive, hit the overtake, and got a little too much power, spun the tires and spun the car. It was such a stupid rookie mistake. It should have been an easy points day,” Dixon said after the race.
“It’d be nice to go to St. Pete without having to worry about (the championship,) but all we can do is go out there and try to win both races at Indy.”
On lap 22 Points leader @scottdixon9 lost control of @PNCBank @HondaRacing_HPD and fell back to 20th place. He would rebound and finish 10th today at @Mid_Ohio. He still holds 72 Point lead heading into #HarvestGP weekend.
📸: @DB3Inc pic.twitter.com/zECSwjf7Uy
There are just three races remaining — two at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (Oct. 2-3) and the (Oct. 23) Streets of St. Petersburg.
The updated IndyCar Series championship standings can be found below.
1. Scott Dixon Ldr.
2. Josef Newgarden -72
3. Pato O’Ward -118
4. Colton Herta -128
5. Will Power -150
6. Takuma Sato -153
7. Graham Rahal -155
8. Simon Pagenaud -179
9. Ryan Hunter-Reay -196
10. Santino Ferrucci -207
11. Felix Rosenqvist -212
12. Marcus Ericsson -226
13. Alexander Rossi -226
14. Jack Harvey -231
15. Rinus VeeKay -233
16. Conor Daly -260
17. Alex Palou -271
18. Oliver Askew -275
19. Charlie Kimball -286
20. Zach Veach -290
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