Pit road produces heartbreak for both Dixon and Palou in Sunday’s 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Dixon has to wonder what he ever did to piss this place off. I mean legend states that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway picks its winners. For some reason, despite Dixon becoming the all-time laps led leader in the 106 year history of this great event, he’ll leave 2021 with just 1 win in his 20 tries.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver just keeps finding ways to lose here at that. He led 73 laps but finished runner-up to his Ganassi teammate of Dario Franchitti in 2009. He led 73 more laps in a 5th place run in 2011. In 2012, he led 53 laps but was runner-up again to Franchitti. He was on the pole and led 83 laps in 2015 but finished 4th. He won the pole in 2017 but had a frightening crash in Turn 1 that year and would come home 32nd. He led 111 laps in a runner-up effort in 2020, 7 laps from the pole in 2021 to where he was caught out by an ill timed first caution which saw his No. 9 Dallara-Honda having to do an emergency pit stop under a closed pit road and then stall as a result. He fell a lap down and would finish 17th.

This year, he was 2nd in literally all but 1 practice session, qualified on the pole with a record setting pole lap and led 95 circuits before speeding on pit road for his final pit stop. That relegated him to 21st in the end.

“It’s heartbreaking, to be honest,” Dixon said. “I came into the pit and had to lock the rears and kind of locked all four. I knew it was going to be close; I think it was a mile an hour over or something. Just frustrating. I just messed up.”

For Alex Palou, he had a similar fate to what occurred to Dixon in 2021. When Callum Ilott crashed in Turn 2 on Lap 68, Palou was coming down to pit lane. Unfortunately, Ilott’s crash sparked a quick caution light which in turn closed pit road. Palou wasn’t fully on pit lane yet which caused him to have to pass on by. Unfortunately, his No. 10 Dallara-Honda was out of gas and he’d have to pit again a lap later while the pits were closed. That was a penalty. That’s why they took an emergency service and would pit again when the pits opened. 3 pit stops in a 4 lap span took him down to 30th. He would rebound to finish 9th but it was a day of what might have been for him too.

Palou led 47 laps and if you combine that with Dixon’s 95 you get the Ganassi duo leading 142 of 200 laps but neither having a win to show for it.


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