Scott Dixon is 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) is the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Champion. He reached his fourth IndyCar title in an incredible GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway, in which he started from 9th position and 47 points less than the leader Juan Pablo Montoya (Team Penske). But, double points system helped Dixon convert his second consecutive victory at Sonoma to championship-winning celebration.
Dixon picked up 100 base points and bonus points: one for leading a lap and two for leading the most laps. Montoya finished sixth and they were tied up at the end of the race, but Dixon is the champion because he has three victories in 2015 season, over Montoya’s two wins.
Montoya, who was leading all the championship and lost the title in the last race criticized double points system after the race, but he himself decided his destiny when collided with teammate Will Power in Lap 39. Both had to pit with damaged cars and fell down to the back of the field. Until the end of the race Montoya succeeded to get to sixth, but he needed few more laps to eventually overtake fifth placed Ryan Briscoe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) and get more points.
After 85 laps, with 4 caution periods and 14 yellow flagged laps, Dixon won with 6.1115 seconds gap ahead Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport). Dixon’s teammates Charlie Kimball and Tony Kanaan finished third and fourth respectively, ahead Briscoe and Montoya. Dixon led 34 laps and truly deserved his victory to achieve his fourth title after 2013, 2008 and 2003. It’s interesting that Montoya earned his 1999 IndyCar title on a tiebreaker over Dario Franchitti and now he lost the title on a tiebreaker.
Dixon’s Sonoma victory is 100th Indy car victory for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and the team’s 11th championship. Dixon joins Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais and Dario Franchitti as four-time champions. Dixon earned his 38th Indy car win, which is one behind Al Unser for fourth all time.
“There was still a chance and that’s what I was hoping for. I don’t know what to say. This season we had some big races, and this was the biggest. We were such a longshot. My teammates were phenomenal. They helped all year and we won this together. There is no one person that achieved this on their own and I just thank everybody so much. I knew the car was strong. We were getting fuel mileage so easy, which was key,” Dixon said. “We could roll the car through the corner and obviously get the mileage. You never know until the last lap. That’s what it came down to. You hope for it. We had to do our best job and that’s what we did today and luckily enough it worked out,” Dixon said after the race.
Will Power, the 2014 series champion, started from pole and finished seventh in the race and third in the championship standings. Graham Rahal was sixth until the contact with Bourdais in lap 77 relegated him to 18th place, and he finished a career-best fourth in the championship. Helio Castroneves finished 15th in the race and fifth in the championship.
Check the results at SnapLap results pages.