Laguna winner Dixon baffled by IndyCar race control decisions: “No idea what goes on up there”

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Photo credit: Chip Ganassi Racing

Scott Dixon survived a melee to take the Indycar season finale—and his third win of the last four races—at the Grand Prix of Monterey at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. Dixon was involved in the chaos early on, and was assessed an avoidable contact penalty after he and Rinus VeeKay came together at the start.

“I was trying to accelerate. The 26 [Colton Herta] was right beside me. The 21 [Veekay] was maybe off track, coming back on track, then we connected. I haven’t really seen a replay to really understand what happened.”

What happened afterwards was a drive-through penalty, which Dixon thought was harsh, and felt harshly about. “Some races for that you got to give up one spot. Today was a drive-through for several people. I really don’t know, man. I have no idea what goes on up there, seriously. I don’t know what to say.

Once again in the position of having to work his way up from the back, Dixon said the team strategy was just “to keep it simple, kind of working from the back end of the race.

“You kind of had everybody trying a little bit of everything. It was particularly hard I think to keep it in the right spot. Offline was very difficult. I don’t know if we really saw deg really play out or anything like that. From the driver’s seat, nobody knew who was going to have the strategy to pull it off, have enough fuel for the end.”

Pato O’Ward and Romain Grosjean looked like they might be the battle for the win late, but their pitstops coincided with one more caution—and the last for 18 laps.

“I was definitely shocked to see the 5 and the 28 pit when they did. I knew after that we had a really fast car, even with some of the damage we kind of had from the contact with the 21 on the start.”

From the final restart, it was smooth sailing for Dixon as he pulled away from fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin, who—despite a Dixon-like consistency that included three wins in the last four races, five straight top-five finishes, and no finishes outside the top ten with only one DNF—only closed the gap to champion and teammate Alex Palou to 78 points. Dixon half-joked that “it’s just a shame that Palou decided to lead the championship by too many points.”