IndyCar’s Dixon tired of being No. 2 in Alabama
Scott Dixon is tired of being second-best at Barber Motorsports
Dixon was second for the third straight year in the Indy Grand
Prix of Alabama, falling a few seconds shy of two-time winner Will
Power on Sunday. Three races, three close calls, three goose
Even if two dozen drivers would gladly trade places, it’s
”The first two years, I was kind of happy with those
finishes,” Dixon said. ”But today to have a dominant race and a
car I think definitely if we were out front at the end would have
led to the same thing and pulled away from Will.
”It’s frustrating when you’re in a scenario like that and you
don’t collect on the win. I’d say the last two years, that was
probably kind of as good as we were going to get.”
Dixon was also second to Power’s Penske teammate Helio
Castroneves in St. Petersburg for the season opener.
He’s accustomed to such close calls by now. Dixon now has 28
second-place finishes, passing Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate
Dario Franchitti into the No. 9 spot in an Indy car.
A couple of issues on three pit road stops cost him precious
”I believe the middle stop and the last stop we had a bit of a
fumble on one of the tires where there was a wheel nut or
something,” Dixon said. ”The middle one took a lot longer. Tires
are done normally about the same time as fuel. You feel the fuel
pull out and you’re still on the air jack.
”On the out-lap I would say Will gained 2 or 3 seconds just
because he wasn’t in traffic. Then I think they were maybe a little
bit quicker on their stop as well. Between that and trying to get
out of the pits behind (E.J.) Viso, I’d say we lost 3 or 4 seconds
in that, which gave Will the advantage.”
Dixon did earn the two bonus points for the second straight week
for most laps led.
Oriol Servia delivered a resilient race, and then an encouraging
message to his Lotus DRR team.
Servia started last in the 26-car field but worked his way into
a 13th-place finish.
”How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” he told his
team upon crossing the finish line. ”Great job guys, we will keep
It was a step forward for the Lotus cars. They had a mixed
weekend and are still playing catch-up with Honda and Chevrolet.
Sebastien Bourdais started 17th and climbed eight spots.
Alex Tagliani was out with mechanical problems before completing
a lap. Katherine Legge finished 23rd -five laps down- and Simona de
Silvestro was 20th.
Tagliani and Servia were the only two Lotus drivers who were
still running at the finish in St. Petersburg. Bourdais, Legge and
de Silvestro retired with mechanical problems.
Servia passed JR Hildebrand on Lap 88 to secure his final
Lotus DRR used Saturday’s qualifying session as a test. He
completed eight laps and saved a set of alternate, red tires for
the race. Servia only ran seven laps in Friday’s first practice
session because of an electrical problem, and magnaged to complete
only two in the second session because of an engine problem.
SIMON SAYS: Simon Pagenaud has quietly put together two strong
performances to open his first season with Schmidt-Hamilton
The rookie finished fifth Sunday, one spot better than in the
season opener, and thinks he had the car to do even better.
”This car was probably the fastest one out there,” Pagenaud
said. ”It’s good to see that we can produce such a great job with
a one-car team and to fight with the Penske and Ganassi
He said those two efforts give him plenty of confidence going
into Long Beach. Pagenaud started 10th.
”They say you can’t pass around here, but I have a few tricks
I’m not going to tell anyone,” he said.
STAYING PUT: IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said he is already
talking with track promoter ZOOM Motorsports about a new deal to
keep racing at Barber Motorsports Park.
”I’d love to see these guys do another (IndyCar) event,”
Bernard said. The deal has one year remaining after a three-year
contract was extended through 2013.
He does have one thing he’d like to see changed with the
narrower-than-usual track, which was built as a motorcycle road
”We want to talk to them about making sure we have some places
to pass,” Bernard said.
ZOOM President Gene Hallman said he’s confident the race will
become ”a permanent part of the Alabama sports event
It’s the only IndyCar event in the Deep South – NASCAR country –
every year. ZOOM’s contract keeps nearby venues in Atlanta and
Nashville from holding races as long as Barber has a race.
INDY LIGHTS: Andretti Autosport’s Sebastian Saavedra won the
Indy Lights race, leading all 40 laps for his first victory of the
season and fourth overall.
Tristan Vautier, the St. Petersburg winner last week for Sam
Schmidt Motorsports, was second in the race that ended under