Fourth place, helped by slick pitwork by the Ganassi crew, has seen Scott Dixon retains the 2008 IndyCar series points lead.
The Indianapolis 500 winner’s teammate Dan Wheldon celebrated his 30th birthday by winning the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway last Sunday. Wheldon held off Andretti Green Racing drivers Hideki Mutoh and Marco Andretti after taking the lead from a caution flag 60 laps from the finish.
Dixon now leads the series by 48 points from Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves who led for 92 laps before a late-race pitstop to replace a punctured tyre cost him two laps. He finished 14th.
Australians Ryan Briscoe and Will Power finished seventh and ninth.
Wheldon and Dixon plan to donate their combined Iowa winnings of $US60,000 to the victims of Iowa’s recent floods and tornados. Dixon said that early in the race his car was “definitely not working the way I wanted. It was very loose [oversteering], especially on the low line.
“I started using the high line and it came together better. The high line was definitely the choice of the day.
“When you had three or four guys in front on you trying to do the same thing, it was difficult to pass.
“I think strategy played out in the end and that’s the way it goes. It’s hard work to pass here. It’s good to see Dan [Wheldon] get a break; he’s had a tough year so far.”
Wheldon said the Ganassi team made a good call for him to stay out on the track and not in the pit. “It was a good call not to do it, but Chip’s [team owner Chip Ganassi] not here, so if they had called me in, I don’t think I would have come in anyway.”
Briscoe said it had been “challenging out there today. I think we just didn’t have enough downforce and we struggled to find grip.
“We made adjustments throughout the day, and towards the end of the race we had a solid car.
“The good news is that we were able to salvage a fairly decent result with a seventh-place finish.”