July 24, 2011
Radiator problems the tip of the iceberg for Dixon
By ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - Scott Dixon was steaming at both ends.
But he was so hot between the ears he barely noticed he was sitting in a puddle of hot water.
"I think I might have burned myself pretty good because the radiator blew up and threw water into the car," he said after getting knocked out of the hunt by E.J. Viso's careless mistake. "My bum's on fire."
That's not the only thing that was running a little hot. Dixon is livid that Viso speared him in turn 5, sending the two-time Edmonton Indy champion to the pits for a lengthy repair that ended his hopes for a third win here.
"You get sick and tired of people making bone-head moves," said Dixon, who was running second when Viso hit him on the 29th lap. "It's just silly stuff. He was braking at the wrong point and smashed into me.
"I understand if you tap a little trying to make a move on the guy in front of you, but to miss your braking point by that much, I don't know what you're thinking about out there, whether you're looking up at people in the stands or what the hell is going on.
"I saw him coming in the rearview mirror but I had nowhere to go. I don't know what Viso is doing. It looked like he came from six cars back and smashed into the side of us.
"He ruined the day for our car."
More and more frequently this year, IndyCar drivers are falling victim to errors they don't feel should be happening in professional racing.
"Not at this level, man," said Dixon. "There are too many jokers out there at the moment doing bone-head moves, there's no way around it. It's not just frustrating for me, it's frustrating for a lot of people. We hope for clean races and it never seems to happen."
By the time Dixon's crew put his car back together, he'd lost five laps and was out of it. He was so angry that he told his crew he was going to take Viso out.
"On the cooldown lap I was thinking about it," he admitted. "But I don't want my guys to have to do more repairs on the car. But what goes around comes around."
Viso was going to be penalized a lap for the poor driving, but since his car lost a lap while disabled, Indy Car ruled that the penalty was "self imposed."
RAHAL DOGS TAGS: Viso isn't the only driver accused of being a bonehead. Graham Rahal offered the same evaluation of Alex Tagliani's driving after getting knocked out of the race midway through the first lap.
The same incident that knocked Paul Tracy out of the race began with Tagliani clipping Rahal, who then collided with Tracy.
IndyCar officials flagged Tagliani with a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact, but he maintains it was just a case of too many cars in too little space.
"Congestion in Turn 5," he said. "I was on the inside and was trying to give as much room as I could to the guys in front. Everybody was turning and I was trying not to touch anybody on the outside. Then my wing touched Rahal's inside rear and cut his tire, I guess.
"It's one of those race incidents. It's really tight, it's 180 degrees and I didn't try to pass anybody, I was just trying to protect my position. I had cars all around me, it's just one of those race incidents."