Unexpected ending to Edmonton Indy

Honda Indy Edmonton winner Scott Dixon, centre, second-place driver Will Power, left, and...

Honda Indy Edmonton winner Scott Dixon, centre, second-place driver Will Power, left, and third-place driver Dario Franchitti hold up their trophies in the winner's circle on Sunday. (AMBER BRACKEN/QMI Agency)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:36 AM ET

Scott Dixon isn’t sure where to file this one.

In a way, he admitted, it devalues it.

In another way, it makes it more memorable than most of his other 22 career IZOD IndyCar Series races.

“It’s the first race I’ve won without leading a lap,” he said. “I guess it will go down in my own little record book.

“It’s not a way you want to win for sure. When I win, I want to win being faster or putting a good pass on someone. But the way our season is going, I’ll be taking anything at the moment.”

Benefactor

The New Zealander who won the first race in the merged series here in 2008, was the benefactor of a black flag call on Helio Castroneves who was in the lead when the checkered flag fell on the Honda Indy Edmonton.

“All in all it was not what I expected to happen at the end,” he said of the incident which happened on Turn 1 on the restart after a yellow flag on lap 93 of the 95 lap race at the downtown airport track.

Castroneves blocked teammate Will Power, and Dixon used the moment to pass Power to move into second. He was awarded the win when Castroneves was moved back to 10th.

“Brian always says that if you’re blocking going into any corner and you are on the right side — especially going into Turn 1, you’re going to get a penalty,” said Dixon of chief race steward Brian Barnhard.

“We get told every week so you could see something was going to happen,” said Dixon.

“I guess you have to give credit to Brian for actually standing up and doing something about it because it’s definitely going to make everybody understand and probably not do that again.”

That said ...

“I can’t believe that we won. It’s pretty strange to not lead and actually win the race.”

There was plenty else happening in the race.

Canada’s part-time driver Paul Tracy once again proved that he still deserves to be a full-time driver, with a sixth- place finish after starting 15th.

Rookie Simona de Silvestro was staying ahead of Danica Patrick despite being T-boned by E.J. Viso into a tire barrier at one point of the race until she went off course on the 87th lap, causing the yellow which resulted in the restart.

Tony Kanaan moving up from 24th to finish 12 was a good story, especially when it involved contact with Canada’s Alex Tagliani who in turn took Mario Romancini out of the race.

But while the expectation was that the real racing would be done behind the front-runners, it ended up that the story was very much at the front in the end of a race which, for the longest time looked like it had the potential to be another Penske Parade like last year here.

Race winner

Dixon was asked when he knew he was likely going to end up being declared the race winner.

“The team came on probably halfway through the first lap of the restart and said that Helio was getting a stop-and-go penalty,” he said of inside-the-helmet communications.

“Then when I continued on, I saw he wasn’t actually going to come into the pits. I figured something was going to happen after. Pretty much within half a lap of the restart I knew Helio was going to have a penalty of some sort.”

Dario Franchitti, who was trying to move up from fourth on the restart, applauded the decision.

“There’s a precedence for black flags. Dixie has been black-flagged at Indy before. Graham Rahal was black-flagged at Indy this year. A bunch of people have been black-flagged for it.”

Dixon elaborated.

“I was blacked twice for the same thing. Rules are rules, man. You’ve got to know that those calls are out there so you don’t keep doing it.”

While Power was blocked out of a chance to win a third consecutive race and his fifth win of the season, he still did manage to increase his series points lead.

He came out of the race with a 50-point lead over Franchitti.

“It was still a good finish points-wise,” said Power.

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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