IndyCar last raced at fabled track in 1989
LONG POND, Pa. – Scott Dixon felt like his losing streak stretched as long as IndyCar’s absence from Pocono.
After 24 years, the series returned to the triangle track.
And it was a big welcome back to Victory Lane for Dixon. Dixon enjoyed it so much, he even had two of his teammates tag along on the podium.
Dixon led a monster day for Chip Ganassi Racing, leading a podium sweep for the team with a win Sunday at the IndyCar Series event at Pocono Raceway. He was followed by Ganassi teammates Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti in IndyCar’s first race at Pocono since 1989.
Ganassi was waiting when Dixon hopped out of the No. 9 Honda.
“I said to him, ‘This morning, I didn’t think we’d be sitting here,’ ” Dixon said. “To say the least, it was a little bit of a shock.”
Dixon struggled this season to make a serious run at wins and had led only one lap, at the Indianapolis 500. He led the final 27 at Pocono for his 30th career IndyCar victory. He snapped a 13-race winless streak that dated to the Aug. 12, 2012 race at Mid-Ohio.
“It has been a tough year,” Dixon said. “We’ve had some great races and we’ve had a lot of bad ones. That’s motor racing, man.”
He caught a big break when Tony Kanaan clipped Dixon’s car on a pass for the lead and was forced to pit road. Dixon dominated down the stretch of the 400-mile race and became the eighth different winner in 11 races this season.
Kanaan lost his bid at the Triple Crown when he clipped his front wing on Dixon’s car. Kanaan connected with Dixon on a pass for the lead on the 107th lap. Kanaan had to pit three laps later and faded to the back.
He lost the lead – and a chance for $1 million.
With Pocono back on the schedule, IndyCar resurrected the “Triple Crown” challenge, a three-race competition for $1 million to the driver that wins the Indianapolis 500, Pocono and the finale at Fontana.