As the first laps developed during the 15th race of 19 in IZOD IndyCar series, the race at Sonoma Raceway it looked as though it was more a bumper car event rather than a professional IndyCar event. Through the first ten laps there were cars sliding sideways, spinning and crashing into to one another. It was beginning to look nothing like anything resembled open wheel racing.
To say the competition is heating up in the IZOD IndyCar series would be a huge understatement. With just 39 points separating Championship leader, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon and less than 100 points between the first five drivers anything could happen as the run to the championship winds down to the last races. There are thirteen drivers who conceivably are in contention to win the championship.
But the last few laps of the race proved to be the most talked about and continues even as IndyCar moves into the last few races.
It began as Will Power and Scott Dixon came into the pits for the last time. Their pit boxes right next to one another, Power in front of Dixon with just a few feet separating the two cars and pit crews.
The incident occurred as Dixon exited his pit while at the same precise moment a Power’s crew member was carrying a rear tire taken off of Power’s race car, back to the pit wall. Depending on whose version you listen to as to whose fault it was the fact remains that Dixon’s left rear wheel hit the tire being carried by the Power crewman, knocking him off his feet and throwing him into the air into another of his crew mates.
Though the Power crew men received minor scrapes and bruises, IndyCar rules mandate that Dixon receive a drive through penalty, which took Dixon out of contention of winning the race and gaining enough points to put him in the lead for the Championship. It was an incident that will continue to be talked about for weeks.
At that point in the race Dixon was making it look bleak for Championship leader, Helio Castroneves. With just 39 points dividing the first and second place drivers it looked as though Dixon would become the leader. That all changed in a blink of an eye, and Castroneves held onto his lead in the standing. With less than 100 points separating the first five drivers in the race for the championship anything can happen in the last three races. Castroneves leads Dixon by just 49 points thanks to the penalty Dixon received and the fact that Castroneves has consistently held his own throughout the season. He is only driver who has completed every lap of every race for 2013; Castroneves is the very example of consistency.
Sonoma Raceway has gone through a number of changes to make it one of the foremost major raceways in the country and when IndyCar comes to Northern California it is a premier event race fans.