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Scott Dixon wins IndyCar at Edmonton in controversial ending

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — New Zealand driver Scott Dixon won a bizarre Honda Edmonton Indy on Sunday after rival Helio Castroneves crossed the finish line first, but was penalized for blocking his own teammate, Will Power of Australia.

An enraged Castroneves, who was pushed down to 10th, stormed from his Dallara Honda car after the race to yell at IndyCar officials at the flag stand. He then grabbed the IndyCar security chief by the collar and shook him before others moved in to restrain him and lead him away.

In a statement released by Team Penske, Castroneves denied he moved his line.

"I actually did move him outside. When you go side by side like that with your teammate and they just take it away from you, it's just absurd."

Dixon said "rules are rules."

"Pretty strange to not run a lap and actually win the race," Dixon said. "It was obvious Will had a pretty good run. The only way to stop him was blocking."

It was the second win of the year for the 30-year-old racer with the Target Chip Ganassi team. Dixon won in Edmonton in 2008 en route to six victories and the overall points championship.

Dixon raced around the 1.96-mile, 14-turn City Centre Airport track at 114.326 miles per hour at a best time of one minute 2.13 seconds.

Power ended up 2.67 seconds behind Dixon but retained the lead in the overall points race. Dixon's teammate Dario Franchitti was third, 3.28 seconds behind.

It had been Power's race to lose. The 29-year-old Australian driver was coming off two consecutive wins, had run the fastest in practice and in qualifying and had led the entire race until Castroneves nipped underneath him with 18 laps to go to take the lead.

With five laps to go, Simona De Silvestro went off course, bringing out a full-course yellow caution flag. The cars were forced to reduce speed and stay in formation.

With three laps to go, the green flag was waved and the cars roared into action. Power gunned his engine and drove hard to the outside on the wide corner at the end of pit row, catching up to Castroneves and appearing ready to overtake him.

That's when Castroneves moved off his normal racing line up to the outside to block his teammate, a violation of IndyCar rules. Power backed off.

"At the end of the day I was always going to do a clean move on Helio," Power said later. "I wasn't going to take a risk of taking us both out. I wouldn't do that to a teammate. I race my teammates clean."

As Castroneves moved high to block Power, Dixon, charging hard in third, suddenly found himself with a wide open lane on the inside of the track. He took it and passed Power for second.

With two laps to go, race officials cited Castroneves for a black flag infraction and gave him a drive-through penalty, which means a driver must go through pit row on his next lap at half speed, 60 miles per hour.

Castroneves ignored the order and raced to the checkered flag, leading to the post-race fireworks.

Dixon said the officials made the correct call.

"We get told in every drivers meeting that you can't protect your line. I guess you've got to give credit to Brian (Barnhart, the race competition boss) for standing up and doing something about it, because it's definitely going to make everybody understand and not do it again."

Scott Dixon wins IndyCar at Edmonton in controversial ending 07/25/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 25, 2010 11:16pm]
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