INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Dixon was jumped at the start of Sunday’s 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Colton Herta passed him for the top spot entering Turn 3 on the opening lap, then Rinus VeeKay got him next. Dixon, rode in third for most of the first stint, but bad luck kept him away from a result that his No. 9 Honda so desperately deserved.
If you gave an award for the top driver this month outside of the Indy 500 race itself, it’s Dixon. He was quickest in practice on Day 2. He was quickest in Carb Day. Quickest on Fast Friday. Quickest in both days of qualifying last weekend. This truly was Dixon’s race to lose.
We seemed to forget something though, Indy picks its winner and for the 19th time of his career, Indy didn’t pick Dixon.
That’s all do to the first of two cautions that flew on Sunday afternoon. Stefan Wilson spun at pit entry and hit the pit wall on Lap 34. Dixon, was one of a few drivers who had yet to hit pit lane at the time. The problem was, with a crash on pit road, the pits were closed longer than normal. Dixon, was running on fumes.
He’d have to pit while the pits were closed and by rule, he could only take two gallons of Speedway racing fuel as a result. But, while on pit road, he ran out of fuel and it caused them to have a hell of a time getting his No. 9 Honda refired. He’d lose a lap in the process and it took all the way until the Lap 119 caution sequence to gain his lap back.
He’d try to stretch his fuel in the end but would only finish 17th.
A similar situation happened to Alexander Rossi on the opening caution too. He, like Dixon, had yet to pit and was running on fumes. When he did hit pit lane, his No. 27 Honda stalled, forcing him to lose a lap. He’d never regain in and would finish 29th.
Rossi’s no good lousy season continues as he’s not 15th, 147 points behind the lead.
That caution changed this race for two heavy hitters.