By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Scott Dixon becomes the second driver this month to have crashed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With an hour and 49 minutes left in the post-qualifying practice session, the second place starter’s No. 9 PNC Bank Honda lost control and backed it into the Turn 4 wall. Dixon’s car continued doing a few twirls before lying to rest on the front straightaway with front and rear damage.
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Dixon was able to get out of his car unharmed, while his Chip Ganassi Racing machine was towed away back to Gasoline Alley where the crew went to work.
The five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion commented that he had hit a bump in Turn 4 that locked up his car, causing his accident just as he was getting to full speed.
“I was was trying to get some clear track just to make sure the balances are right. I kind of turned in and got a little wider than normal,” said Dixon. “I felt fine, just kind of kept turning it. There’s actually a big bump there and I hit the bump. As soon as I hit the bump, if felt like the front wheels came off and put more lock in. Then the rear just came around.
“Very lucky that it just barely brushed the wall. It actually looks like the car is fine. Just the front and rear wings, so I’m pretty lucky in that situation.”
Very lucky Dixon was as the No. 9 team were able to repair the car with less than an hour to spare and got more track time. Naturally, once Dixon returned at the 2.5-mile circuit, he topped the practice board at 223.148 mph in a short period of time.
When the dust settled, Dixon ended up third fastest as both Helio Castroneves (224.067 mph) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (223.327 mph) wound up eclipsing him during the final six minutes of practice.
Prior to Dixon’s crash, the only other accident at IMS took place Thursday when Fernando Alonso also crashed in the same exact corner and like Dixon, a backup car wasn’t needed.