New Zealander Scott Dixon continued his strong drive towards the 2008 IndyCar series crown with a third placing in last weekend’s round at Richmond, Virginia.
Dixon, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, drove his Target Team Ganassi Dallara-Honda to the final podium placing, behind winner Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves.
It was Kanaan’s first 2008 IndyCar Series win. He started from pole, came through nine restarts to lead 166 of the 300 laps and take his 13th career victory.
Team Penske’s Castroneves improved 16 positions to record his fourth second-place finish of the season.
Dixon now has a 43-point series lead over Castroneves. Dixon’s Ganassi teammate Dan Wheldon finished fourth, followed by KV Racing Technology’s Oriol Servia.
Kanaan said the race was tough at first, “but once we got going, I knew we could do it with the car. The problem was we had a lot of yellows and people making mistakes.
“Traffic was really good; everybody did a good job trying to keep away from the leaders. It was a great race apart from all of the yellows.”
Castroneves said he was “driving my wheels off. I was trying everything I could to make up spots.”
Dixon rated it “a tough night. We had a very good car. Once again it was very tough to pass here [Richmond is a tight, short oval].
“Even when the tyres got old, it was very hard to get close to people. If we were out front, I think we had a car to win.
“TK [Tony Kanaan] definitely looked pretty strong tonight, but I think the Target car still had a good run.
“I think I just messed up my first pitstop and maybe the left rear or one of the rear guys had trouble getting [the wheel] back on.
“We dropped back to about eighth or ninth, so it was good to come away with third.”