Kiwi Indycar driver Scott Dixon. Photo / Getty
Scott Dixon’s IndyCar title defense has come to an end after a frustrating day at the Monterey Grand Prix, the penultimate race of the season.
Dixon started the race fourth overall, 49 points behind Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou, but continued to lose ground after retiring from the title race in 13th.
The six-time champion started eighth and was stuck in an unfortunate position at the famous Corkscrew corner on the Laguna Seca circuit in the middle of the race when Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Takuma Sato spun in front of the Kiwi and spun into it. At that point, Dixon was back in tenth from the leaders and had trouble changing tires, but that put an end to his chances of a run in the second half of the race.
Colton Herta won the race in the same place, his father Bryan also won twice with Palou in second and former F1 driver Romain Grosjean in third.
Palou is 35 points ahead of Pato O’Ward and heads into the final race next weekend in Long Beach, where Dixon has to play a supportive teammate to ensure Chip Ganassi Racing takes another title. Josef Newgarden is another 13 points behind and remains the only other driver who has a mathematical chance for the title.
Palou must finish 11th or better at Long Beach to be crowned champion.
Kiwi colleague Scott McLaughlin took 12th place, one place ahead of Dixon and 13th place in the overall standings and 10 points ahead of Grosjean in the rookie standings.