Dixon wins controversial IndyCar race
Power had dominated the weekend and the race until the final pitstop when his crew chose to send him out on the harder black rubber whereas Castroneves and Dixon were on the softer red tires. With the softer red tires that came up to temperature sooner, Castroneves passed Power on that restart on lap 78 of 95.
An incident on track forced a late yellow caution flag, however, which set up a dramatic race restart with just four laps remaining.
However, from where the media and the fans saw it, Barnhart blew the call. Castroneves did move back to the middle of the track to improve his line but his teammate was much further out and in no way did Castroneves block or impede him. He was still on the inside, which is where he committed to originally. He never went to the outside in an attempt to block Power. He gave Power the line Power wanted. There is a point where you have to let the drivers race and Castroneves raced Power cleanly, not once blocking him.
“I got a run on him and he blocked me," Power said, which after looking at the replays is a false statement and sure to cause bad blood in the team. "I would say a black flag is a pretty harsh penalty, but it is what it is. It was just one of those racing things. When you’re leading on the last restart you want to keep the lead.”
The black flag call was radioed to the No. 3 car, but Castroneves failed to take the drive-thru pit lane penalty. He was placed at the end of the lead lap (10th). A black flag cannot be appealed, according to Indy Racing League rules.
“I never moved my line," Castroneves said. "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.”
The following rules were applied:
The following rules in the IZOD IndyCar Series rule book were applied concerning Helio Castroneves' penalty:
Drivers were warned by Brian Barnhart during the pre-race drivers meeting on blocking: "You have plenty of options on where to put your car and we should not have any defending or blocking. Again we will be visually dividing the braking point through the entry into the corner in half. You can only be on the inside half if you are attempting to pass someone. If you are on the inside half because you are under attack from someone else, it is blocking. Don't move your car in reaction to a following car and don't impede the progress of a car with a run on you."
Rule 9.3 (B) A driver must not alter his/her racing line based on the actions of pursuing Drivers or use an abnormal racing line to inhibit or prevent passing. Blocking will result in a minimum of a black flag "drive through" penalty.
Rule 7.1 (B) (4) (C) (4) The senior official shall determine the type and length of any black flag. The penalized car shall proceed to pit lane as directed by Officials and may return to the Race only upon the declaration of Officials. In the case of the Driver Violating the Rules, no work may be performed on a Car during the execution of a black flag penalty. Should any such work occur, the conditions of the penalty are unfilled and the penalty procedure must be executed again in its entirety on a subsequent lap. The penalty may not be protested and/or appealed.
Rule 9.2 (A) Race Procedure Penalties are a result of on track conduct and are generally imposed during on Track activity. If the imposition of a penalty is near or at the end of on Track activity and Driver/Car does not fulfill it, the Senior Official may reposition the Driver/Car in the posting of results or apply the penalty to subsequent on Track activity to reflect the fulfillment of the penalty. The penalty including without limitation any repositioning in a posting is non-protestable and/or appealable.
Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti finished third and Ryan Briscoe was fourth. Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay finished fifth. KV Racing Technology cars finished 6-9 with Paul Tracy, Mario Moraes, E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato occupying those spots.
Milka Duno, the IRL's 2nd biggest star behind Danica Patrick, never made it past turn 2 at the start of the race. She was way behind on the start and with no one around her she spun haplessly all by herself. The officials pushed her to the side of the track and told her to get out.
Already on probation by the IRL, today just cemented what we said about her 5 years ago. She is an embarrassment to the league and should be smart enough to realize by now she was not cut out to be a race car driver. She must put her ego aside and with her CITGO money become an IndyCar team owner like Sarah Fisher. At least Fisher was smart enough to realize her limitations.
The win was Scott Dixon's second victory of the season. He previously won at Kansas Speedway in May.
The Next IZOD IndyCar Series race is the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Aug 8 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The race will be televised by VERSUS at 3 p.m. (EDT). The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Mid-Ohio 100 on Aug 8 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, winner Honda Indy Edmonton): "Brian always says that if you're blocking going into any corner and you are on the right side - especially into Turn 1, you're going to get a penalty. We get told every week, so you could see something was going to happen. We had a great run with the Target car and kept it in a typical line. It was a tough day. The Target car was pretty loose. I can't believe that we won."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, finished 10th): "I never moved my 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."
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske, finished second): "I got a run on him and he blocked me. I would say a black flag is a pretty harsh penalty, but it is what it is. It was just one of those racing things. When you're leading on the last restart you want to keep the lead."
ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bower & Wilkins/Hot Wheels): "It was an unfortunate incident for the no.77 Bowers & Wilkins Hot Wheels car. I think our first stint was a good one. We went long saving fuel and doing the best thing with what we had. I think we could have finished in the top ten but it was just an unfortunate incident in turn 1 that ended our day. We made up six positions and the Fazzt guys did a really good job. Our strategy was good, our car was better than it had been so I think a top ten finish was in our reach." (About incident with Kanaan): "I think Turn 1 was the best place to pass. I got an opportunity and I took it. I think Tony (Kanaan) braked on the inside of Turn 1 and left the rubber line wide open. When I exited Turn 1, I felt like I left him a lot of room and stayed close to the wall. Then I felt a touch from behind on the right rear, got spun around then got hit on the left side. I'm disappointed. The whole Fazzt team is disappointed. This isn't the way we wanted things to go here in Canada. We had realistic expectation coming in but didn't leave with the results we had hoped for. This teams works hard and we'll regroup and look to do better at the next few races."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy): "We had to give 110 percent with the Venom car today and things just didn't go our way. Once we get on the right side of circumstance and once things actually go our way the 26 car will be pretty tough to get around."
TONY KANAAN (No. 11 Team 7-Eleven): "I've raced a long time and I understand bad days, but this one was right up there with the longest of them for us. We have a lot of work to do to try and get better."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 37 Team IZOD, finished fifth): "Coming out of here with a top five almost feels like a victory. The guys did a great job and it was another good points day for us. We just didn't really have it this weekend. But, sometimes a team is measured by how well they do at a time when they're missing a little something and I think Team IZOD showed what it is made of."
DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com): "It was a good effort by the #7 GoDaddy.com team. Overall the weekend was really rough and disappointing for not only me, but for the whole Andretti team. It was just a chain of events that led us to this finish, so we'll look to do better in Mid-Ohio."
HIDEKI MUTOH (No. 06 Formula Dream/Panasonic): "The race wasn't good for us. We started on the red alternate Firestone tires and the balance was good but we just couldn't find any grip. On the next set somehow the pressure in the rear tires didn't come up for maybe 15 laps. After that the car was very good at one point but I spun and lost some positions. On the final stint we put primary tires on and the car balance was loose again so it was very hard to stay on the track. I couldn't fight."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Team Penske, finished 10th): "Obviously, I disagree with the decisions made by the race officials on the last restart in today's race, but there is no excuse for my actions after the checkered flag. I apologize to my team, our sponsors, the fans and the entire IZOD IndyCar Series community for my behavior. My actions were totally wrong and I acted inappropriately to some people who are my friends and people I respect very much. Obviously, I am a very emotional person and today I let my emotions get the better of me and I'm very sorry for that."
PAUL TRACY (No. 15 Make-A-Wish KV Racing Technology, finished sixth): "It was a good finish for the Honda Canada - Make-A-Wish - Motegi Wheels - KV Racing team today. Our goal was to make money for Make-A-Wish these last two weeks and they raised over $112,000 for the two races. It feels great to help the kids and the families. My second goal was to have a good time. Then we wanted a good finish and we pulled it off today. It feels so good to race in front of the Canadian fans. They really enjoy their racing. Both Toronto and Edmonton support these events so well. It is tough to come in as a spot driver and perform well. This place is so hard and physical on a driver. So coming from 15th and finish sixth feels very good. I just wish we could get the car figured out earlier in the weekend to get a better starting spot. I think we can race with the leaders if can do that. Overall, today was good for the whole KV Racing team. I just wish I could race again this year."
MARIO MORAES (No. 32KV Racing Technology, finished seventh): "It was a good race for our KV crew. I was trying to be patient with the tires in the first stint. We were able to run long on fuel in the first stint and that helped you. I am happy with the top-ten finish after the problem we had in qualifying. We had some great pit stops and a great team effort in the race. Now, I hope we can continue that momentum into Mid-Ohio."
E.J. VISO (No. 8 PDVSA-Jet Aviation-KV Racing Technology): "It was definitely a tough race. I made a couple of mistakes early in the race. But overall, my PDVSA - KV Racing crew did a great job with a strong qualifying performance. The car was good in the race. We were in a fuel conservation mode and I lost a few positions. I considered it a racing incident with Simona (de Silvestro). She didn't give any space and I think she didn't see me. So we banged tires. The officials gave me a driving through penalty and that didn't help us going back in the pack. But we recovered well and we got back to eighth. We want to be ready for Mid-Ohio now after the team did a good job this weekend."
MARIO ROMANCINI (No. 34 Conquest Racing): "I am very disappointed as everybody knows that this might be my last race because we don't have any sponsors, so I really would like to have had a good result. We had a good pace during the race but unfortunately it's such a bad luck as it is the third race in a row that I can't finish. In Toronto, someone took me out and here I got involved in an accident that I could not avoid, with Tagliani spinning in front of me. Other than that, we had a great weekend and I hope I can be back in the car soon and maybe I can do some more races this year".
BERTRAND BAGUETTE (No. 36 Conquest Racing RACB): "I think we had a consistent race today. On my first stint I was able to gain some positions and then I got stuck in traffic and I worked on saving fuel. On my second pit stop I lost some positions but I was on black tires and my car had a good balance and I was following Tony Kanaan all the time, which I consider a good reference, but unfortunately I couldn't improve my track position. Overall it was a good weekend and now I am looking forward to our next race in Mid Ohio."
RAPHAEL MATOS (No. 2 HP de Ferran Dragon Racing): "Taking into account the incident on the second lap, I'm happy we were able to salvage some points and finish in 13th. It's so frustrating that Paul compromised our race. The guys did a great job in the pits to help recover. Overall, I'm very frustrated, as we had the pace to finish much higher but, again, I think it was a great effort to come back after that set back."
JUSTIN WILSON, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "The Z-Line Designs car was improving in our first stint and I was able to drive the car the way I had wanted. Right after our first stop my right rear shock broke and I was just trying to control the car and not get into anyone. We will have a look at why the shock failed and continue on. I'm looking forward to testing at Mid-Ohio next week to prepare for the race."
TOMAS SCHECKTER, No. 24 MonaVie: "It was a really tough race today. I think that I misled everyone and pointed them in the wrong direction with the car. We had to come in and make an early stop to change the front wing, I really don't know what went wrong there. Overall it was a really tough day and I just tried to hang in there the whole race. I just have to thank MonaVie and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the opportunity. We can definitely leave Edmonton with some positives like qualifying well and hopefully we can take that on to some more races."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 Lotus - KV Racing Technology): "It was a good day for the Lotus - KV Racing Technology team. I enjoyed racing here and the race itself was very exciting. There was a lot of side-by-side and overtaking on this circuit, which I experienced a lot of today. On the last stint, I was so frustrated being stuck behind a lapped car. Its okay for a few corners or even a lap, but it held me up for so long, almost 15 laps. We tried to speak to their team to ask them to move over but for some reason it wasn't happening. On the last restart, my teammate PT (Paul Tracy) went wide and onto the grass. I was alongside him when he came back on track forcing me wide and nearly losing it, but I managed to hold on and keep position. Later TK (Tony Kanaan) hit me from behind and spun me round, so I lost a couple of positions on that lap, but he did apologize to me after the race. That was a shame but it was still a good day for the Lotus team."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Team Penske, finished fourth): "It was a tough race because I nicked the wall only a few laps into the race and bent the rear toe link. From that point on the car was a handful, especially on the restarts. When the tires were clean and hot, the car was still very fast and I was able to get by the Ganassi cars. Unfortunately, I just couldn't hold them off on the restarts. It was disappointing that we couldn't battle for the win today but I'm happy that we were able to hold on and get a good finish."
Time of Race: 01:50:37.0551
Winners average speed: 101.666
Margin of Victory: 2.6688 seconds
Cautions: 4 for 10 laps
Lead changes: 4 among 3 drivers
Lap Leaders: Power 1 - 34, Dixon 35, Power 36-77. Castroneves 78-94, Dixon 95.
Point Standings: Power 420, Franchitti 370, Dixon 349, Briscoe 324, Hunter-Reay 316, Castroneves 305, Kanaan 291, Wilson 252, Andretti 244, Wheldon 243.
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