About 20 minutes after the checkered flag, Will Power was shown the video replay of Sunday’s first lap at the Grand Prix of Portland where five cars tangled and four of them were eliminated.
“Oh my God, you’ve got to be kidding me. He was right in the middle of everything and he didn’t hit anybody? And he kept the engine running?” said Power, breaking into a grin. “Sometimes it’s your day or your year, and anybody that doesn’t think he’s going to win the title is crazy.”
Of course Power was talking about Scott Dixon, who started 11th, somehow avoided being taken out in that first-lap melee, fell back to 20th and recovered to finish fifth and increase his point lead over Alexander Rossi with one race remaining.
“That was crazy,” said Dixon after climbing out of his PNC Honda with a 29-point lead in search of his fifth IndyCar title. “I couldn’t see anything but dirt and dust and it was everywhere. But when the dust cleared, I was surprised that I was just sitting there in the middle.
“I was just hoping we could continue.”
Owner Chip Ganassi said: “That start took years off my life today.”
But other than a slightly bent suspension and having the antenna knocked off, the 38-year-old Kiwi rejoined the race back in 20th place and Rossi was leading, pulling away owned a 17-point lead in the championship at one point.
Then everything changed with a full-course yellow that flopped the field and put the leaders in the back and the guys in Dixon’s three-stop strategy right back in the hunt,
“I got a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits but that had to be some kind of technical glitch because I was being careful,” he explained. “But we caught a good break on that caution and I’ve been on the other side of that one.
“But nothing’s been decided — we’ve got to run good at Sonoma. Double points, anything can happen.”
Yeah, kinda like what did Sunday afternoon in Portland.