Dixon declares ‘gloves off’ in IndyCar after O’Ward crash

Scott Dixon crashes into the tyre barriers after contact with Pato O’Ward. Picture: Stan Sport

Scott Dixon has declared “gloves off” in the IndyCar Series after the hip-check from Pato O’Ward which took him out of contention for victory at Long Beach.

The six-time champion was running sixth when O’Ward went for a pass at Turn 8 of the Long Beach street circuit, precipitating wheel-to-wheel contact which put the #9 Honda into the barriers.

Dixon would press on once he was pulled out of the tyres, still on the lead lap, before his race finally came to an end due to mechanical problems on Lap 37.

Stan Sport is the only way to watch every round of the INDYCAR SERIES. Click here for all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand.

Race Control did not announce any investigation into the incident but, ironically, O’Ward spun himself while trying another bold move at Turn 8 on the restart from the Caution caused by the clash he created minutes earlier.

“That seemed extremely late,” said Dixon on the NBC Sports telecast which is carried in Australia by Stan Sport.

Stan Sport is the only way to watch every round of the IndyCar Series. Click here for all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand.

“But, it starts way before that,” he added as he began to watch a replay.

“We’re already committed to the corner. I understand there’s tyre deg and all that stuff going on, but I wouldn’t have chosen to do that.

“But, if that’s how the series wants us to race, then I guess it’s all gloves off from this point and that’s how it would be.

“So, disappointed with that and then I don’t know what happened at the end there. We kind of just passed the 60 car [Simon Pagenaud] and then lost drive after that and got back to the pits.

“Frustrating day.”

Chip Ganassi Racing would later advise that his DNF was “a result of the crash earlier in the race” and that was hardly Dixon’s only source of frustration.

CLICK HERE for O’Ward response

He had also taken umbrage at how the start of the race played out, when Josef Newgarden jumped from eighth on the grid to fourth position exiting the first corner, having even briefly held third position on the nose as they braked for Turn 1.

Such is the nature of the Turn 11 hairpin at Long Beach, only the first three rows had formed up by the time pole-sitter Kyle Kirkwood took the green flag, and Dixon was among the losers as he dropped from fifth to seventh in those first few seconds of the race.

“It was going to be hard on the strategy that we were plus the start was a complete joke as well,” added the New Zealander.

“So, I don’t know what they’re calling up there, but it seems like Row 6 or 5 went way before even the leader did.”

Dixon was classified last, in 27th position, and leaves Long Beach in sixth in the series standings at 38 points behind pace-setting team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

The focus now moves to the Indianapolis 500 with a two-day Open Test at The Brickyard this Thursday and Friday (local time), before racing at Barber Motorsports Park on the following weekend.

Every IndyCar race is live, ad-free, and on-demand on Stan Sport.

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]