Friday, January 19, 2018

More Power-Dixon mayhem overshadows Pagenaud's IndyCar win

BALTIMORE — Simon Pagenaud won Sunday's Grand Prix of Baltimore, but the lasting image will be Scott Dixon hitting the wall after another unfortunate run-in with rival Will Power.

On a restart on Lap 53 on the bumpy, tight downtown street course, Power swerved in front of Dixon while trying to pass St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais. Power clipped Dixon's front and Dixon wrecked.

"I just didn't even think to look in my mirror," Power said. "…I feel terrible. I'm just so sorry."

Dixon was mad at Power but perhaps moreso at IndyCar officials who wouldn't let him return his car to the pits for repairs.

"That restart was a complete botch," Dixon said. "…Then I got beside (Power) and he ran me straight into the wall. Then, they wouldn't (let me) bring the car back."

Last week at Sonoma, Dixon got a drive-through penalty with 15 laps left after a pit incident with Power's team; he finished 15th while Power won. Then Saturday, Power spun Dixon in practice.

Sunday, Power finished 18th, a spot ahead of Dixon. Power's Penske Racing teammate, Helio Castroneves, was ninth and extended his points lead to 49 over Dixon with three races left.

Josef Newgarden was a career-best second followed by Bourdais, Pagenaud's fellow Frenchman.

Trucks: Chase Elliott, the son of NASCAR legend Bill, wrecked Ty Dillon on the last lap on a road course in Bowmanville, Ontario, to become the youngest winner in series history. Elliott, at 17 years, 9 months, 4 days, broke the mark set last year by Ryan Blaney (18 years, 8 months, 15 days). "We only have so many shots to win these things. I really hate to win them like that, I really do," Elliott said. Dillon, who wound up 17th in the Chevy Silverado 250, didn't sound impressed, saying: "You've got to show respect. I hope he runs Iowa (next week). He won't finish the race." After a post-race interview Max Papis, whose bump with Mike Skeen's truck caused both to spin out, was slapped by Kelly Heaphy, Skeen's girlfriend, reported. Papis said on Twitter the slap dislocated his jaw and that his left ear was ringing.

NHRA: Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle) led after the third and final day of qualifying at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Also, defending Funny Car champ Jack Beckman and Top Fuel leader Shawn Langdon each earned $100,000 by winning eight-car shootouts.

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