Power laments race-ending clash with Dixon

Will Power spun after contact with Scott Dixon. Picture: Joe Skibinski

Team Penske’s Will Power was left “super disappointed” after a clash with Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing ended his day early at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Power and Dixon had been squabbling over fourth in the opening laps of the Honda Indy 200 when the pair came to blows.

As they crested the brow at Turn 5, the pair made side-to-side contact which resulted in Power spinning while Dixon was unscathed.

The #12 pilot lit his tyres up as he sought to right himself. In the cloud of smoke, cars swerved to avoid the stricken car, except for Ed Jones of Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan who clattered into Power head-on.

That resulted in heavy suspension damage to both cars, ruling them both out of the running just four laps in.

Power mistakenly held onto the steering wheel as he lay idle on the exit of Turn 5, yanking it from his hands in the contact.

“It’s not broken, fortunately,” Power said of his sore wrists.

“I foolishly left my hands on the wheel when there was all that smoke. Good lesson there.”

Power said he was frustrated Dixon squeezed him against the inside kerb.

“I’m super disappointed we had that early,” said Power.

“I don’t know why Scott squeezed me down so much man. I had nowhere to go.

“I actually slowed up a lot to make sure that I wouldn’t hit him, but he squeezed me that tight that it was impossible. I was on the kerb.

“Man, it sucks. I should have known he would be aggressive because he’s on reds [soft compound tyre] I was on blacks [hard compound]. He really wanted to get by.”

Speaking after the 80-lap affair, Dixon said he believed the contact didn’t warrant a penalty.

“We just had to get past Will,” Dixon explained.

“Obviously at no point do I want to take anybody out and I think it was just a racing incident.

“We were pushing hard. If you give too much room on the outside… last year I gave Will a bunch of room on the outside and he kind of ran me off the track there.

“I didn’t do anything on purpose and sorry for his day not turning out.”

While Power failed to finish, Dixon went on to claim fourth behind his two team-mates Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson. Meanwhile, Power’s team-mate Josef Newgarden dominated proceedings.

Dixon had been vying for third until Palou executed an overcut and leapt from fifth to third.

The six-time series winner said he was pleased to see his team-mates at the fore, but lamented a lack of rear grip.

“Definitely a tough race for us,” said the #9 pilot.

“Just the rear of the car we couldn’t hold onto throughout the race. It was definitely frustrating. We couldn’t push at any time. We tried to adjust during the race.

“Good job by all the Ganassi crew. Congrats to Marcus and obviously Alex and to Josef [Newgarden] for the win there. We need some work, we’ve got to do some work.”

Palou’s third place finish saw him extend his points lead over McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward while Dixon has maintained third in the series.

The IndyCar Series now has a four-week break before returning for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the Nashville Street Circuit on August 6-8 (local time).

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