taking another bow
Chevrolet officials breathed a little
easier before the Sonoma drama played
out, celebrating their fourth consecutive
IndyCar Manufacturers’ Championship on
the morning before the final race.
The fact they had to wait that long was
something of a surprise, as most pundits
had all but consigned the coveted crown
to the Bowtie Brigade after rival Honda
started out with a performance deficit on
its manufacturer-specific aero kit. Yet
although Chevrolet wound up with the
trifecta – manufacturers’ crown, Indy 500
victory and the season’s champion driver
all with Chevy power – the final margin
was less than might be expected. Even so,
Honda continued to press to be allowed
to make enhancements to its kits.
IndyCar reserves the right to allow a
manufacturer some relief if it believes a
performance gap between the two makes
has demonstrated a negative effect on
competition. Chevy, naturally, says that
just hasn’t been the case. The politicking
on both sides figures to be a prominent
part of the off-season narrative. S c o t t
Former teammate Dario Franchitti was
among the first to congratulate Scott Dixon
for joining him as a four-time IndyCar
champ. Could A.J. Foyt’s record tally of
seven titles be within reach for the Kiwi?
After the tragic events of the previous
week at Pocono (see page 11), the Verizon
IndyCar Series was in desperate need of an
uplifting end to the season – one that would
be a worthy complement to the moving
tributes to Justin Wilson at Sonoma.
And it got one...although Juan Pablo
Montoya might not agree.
The Colombian went into the finale
needing merely to maintain the
advantage he had enjoyed for the entire
season, but the double points on offer for
the GoPro Grand Prix meant that he and
Team Penske still had to execute cleanly.
And, for the sixth time in the last seven
attempts in such circumstances, it didn’t.
Regardless of how you score Montoya’s
dumbfounding collision with teammate
Will Power on an early restart, it served to
put both men behind the 8-ball just as
Chip Ganassi Racing’s armada surged.
From Scott Dixon’s unassailable speed
out front to the spectacular passes that
carried Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball
into the top 5 and provided the buffer
needed to make Dixon champion, the day
– and the season – wound up a Ganassi
powerplay. A better setting for the team’s
100th Indy car win was hard to imagine.
“I still can’t believe it,” mused the
four-time champ. “It was such a long shot.”
• Scott Dixon interview, page 46.
A suitably unpredictable end to the IndyCar season delivers Scott Dixon a fourth crown
double or nothing
all hands on deck
Euphoria over Dixon’s improbable comeback
prompted a bout of crowd surfing in victory
circle. The champ’s svelte frame made the
rounds easily enough, but team boss Ganassi’s
called for more power of positive thinking...
2015 ManUFac TUReRs’
After a fast start,
home the IndyCar
bragging rights, although
HONDA rallied to win
four of the last six races.
Scott Dixon did all he could to tilt
the title his way at Sonoma. With
perfect support, it was enough.
RACES WITH MOST LAPS LED
SCOTT DIXON JUAN PABLO MONTOYA
Number of wins was the tie-breaker in Dixon’s favor.
Both poles awarded based on championship points.