Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Power wins in IndyCar after controversial penalty against Dixon

SONOMA, Calif. — A penalty call against him left Scott Dixon, usually cool enough to be nicknamed "The Ice Man," plenty angry Sunday as Will Power collected his first IndyCar victory of the season.

Power won the Grand Prix of Sonoma for the third time after IndyCar officials cited Dixon for knocking down three members of Power's crew on a stop. Dixon led until serving the drive-through penalty with 15 laps left.

On Lap 64, Dixon clipped the right rear tire carried by Travis Law, who was knocked into airjack man Justin Bosch. Both were uninjured, indycar.com said, as was a third crew member who made contact with an air gun or hose.

Dixon thought Power's crew got in the way on purpose.

"That's probably the most blatant thing I've seen in a long time," Dixon said. "You watch most pit guys, they try to get out of the way of other people, so that was a bit of a (classless) move, to be honest. … If that's the way they want to try and win, that's pretty bad."

Dixon finished 15th. Series leader Helio Castroneves, Power's Penske Racing teammate, finished seventh and leads Dixon by 39 points with four races left.

Power scoffed at the notion any gamesmanship occurred, saying: "I would be very surprised (if it was intentional)."

Race director Beaux Barfield stood behind the call.

"If we have somebody that uses less-than-great judgment when they leave their pit box, and we have an incident, then certainly we've got to make a statement by penalizing (that driver)," he said.

Justin Wilson was second, followed by pole-sitter Dario Franchitti.

Formula One: Sebastian Vettel passed Lewis Hamilton on Lap 1 and went on to comfortably win the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, extending his championship lead. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari charged from ninth on the grid to finish second and rose to second in points, 46 behind three-time defending world champion Vettel.

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