FONTANA, Calif. – Scott Dixon became the latest driver to deny team owner Roger Penske an IndyCar Series championship, wrapping up his third title Saturday night in a race of attrition at Auto Club Speedway.
Will Power won the season finale — a year after he crashed in this race to blow his own title chances — to salvage the night for Penske Racing.
But it was Dixon and team owner Chip Ganassi celebrating on the big stage as the New Zealander won his third series title, and Target Chip Ganassi claimed its 10th championship since 1990. Dixon wrapped it up with a fifth-place finish in the MAVTV 500. He beat Brazilian Helio Castroneves, who was sixth in the finale, by 27 points.
Penske has been denied in the season finale six times since Sam Hornish Jr. won the organization its last IndyCar title in 2006.
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Castroneves led the standings after 14 races and took a 49-point lead over Dixon into a Houston doubleheader two weekends ago. But a gearbox issue in the first race, which Dixon won, saw his lead sliced to eight points. In the second race, Castroneves drove over a bump in the track to cause a catastrophic failure to his gearbox.
• Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was rained out Saturday. Thus the field for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 was set based on Friday’s practice speeds.
Aric Almirola will start from the pole at 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
• Johnny Sauter raced to his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season Saturday, surviving a 12-truck crash on the final turn of the Fred’s 250 at Talladega.