Dixon maintains his IndyCar championshiplead


Associated Press

MADISON, ILL.

Scott Dixon has done very little wrong the past five weeks, being a model of consistency in the midst of an IndyCar championship chase he hopes will deliver him a fifth title in the open-wheel series.

Yet his lead has been trimmed by more than half.

Alexander Rossi took another nibble out of it Saturday night, when he managed to coax about six extra laps out of his final fuel stop at Gateway Motorsports Park. Rossi’s strategy to make one fewer stop than the leaders paid off with a second-place finish behind Will Power — and one spot ahead of Dixon, whose lead dwindled to 26 points with two races left in the season.

“It’s always tough when it comes down to the wire,” said Dixon, who had a fifth straight top-five finish, “but I think you have that situation throughout the season. Everybody at this level, you do everything you can to try and get one race win. It’s no different week in, week out.”

Dixon did precisely that during the middle of the season, winning three times to build what looked like an insurmountable points lead. But it’s been Rossi on the tear down the stretch, his back-to-back wins at Mid-Ohio and Pocono and runner-up run at Gateway putting the pressure on.

Now, the question is whether there’s enough time to finish the job.

The final two races are road courses, beginning next week with IndyCar’s return to Portland, Oregon, after a decade-long absence and culminating in the finale at Sonoma, where double points are on the line.

“The goal right now is just to hopefully get within 20 points going into Sonoma, and then it can really be about who beats the other person-type-of-thing,” Rossi said. “That’s where our focus is.”

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