Scott Dixon rages after Baltimore disaster
After his car and IndyCar championship hopes were run into the wall, New Zealand driver Scott Dixon was not afraid to vent.
In his crosshairs? Australian driver Will Power, Penske Racing president Tim Cindric and IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield.
In a weekend that promised so much for Dixon after claiming pole, he left the Grand Prix of Baltimore 49 points behind series leader Helio Castroneves after a 53rd lap restart incident that only increased the tension between Dixon's Chip Ganassi team and Power's Team Penske.
Having earlier been spun by Graham Rahal at the first corner following a 48th lap restart, Dixon pulled out in an attempt to overtake Power on a restart in the 53rd lap. The Australian cut in front of him, sending Dixon's car into the wall.
"We're fourth gear by that point. You'll spin the tyres in second, third not so much," Dixon said. "But at that speed in fourth gear there's no chance that the car was stepping out. Whether he knew we were there or not, it's not the case. It's just complete stupidity."
Dixon jokingly referred to Power as an "Aussie w****r" to reporters yesterday when explaining how the Penske driver had inadvertently spun him during the final practice.
A heated Dixon glared at Power as he walked past in pit lane soon after the crash and then exchanged words with an IndyCar official.
"It was funny on the radio when we were scanning them in the situation when Power was sitting in the pits. Cindric was telling him exactly what to say when he gets out of the car. Cindric's a piece of s***, which is quite obvious to a lot of people nowadays."
The Ganassi and Penske teams traded words - mainly via Twitter - in the lead-up to Baltimore after Dixon clipped one of Power's crewmen during a late pit-stop at Sonoma. He drew a drive-through penalty and dropped from the race lead to finish 15th, costing him over 30 points. Dixon labeled the crewman's tactics of making it difficult to get around him a "dick move".
What also angered Dixon today was IndyCar's decision not to bring his damaged car back to pit lane to get repaired and potentially get back on track.
"There's just no consistency. The 15 (Rahal) turns us (no penalty), the 4 car (Oriol Servia) does the same thing on the next restart and gets a penalty, the 12 car (Power) ran over an air hose in a pit stop, gets no penalty.
"And even not taking our car back to pit lane, that's what I was pissed off so much about. We just had a bent toe road and an upper A-arm, which is maybe 3-4 minutes to change out ... for them not to bring the car back, which clearly states in the rulebook if there's only 10 laps to go, then maybe not, which is fair because there's not much distance to go. But at that stage there was 27 laps left to go, so to not do anything there is beyond me.
"I've had that same situation with Beaux at Long Beach two years ago when he left me in the run-off for the whole race. We had an engine thing that could've been fixed in no time. It's quite obvious that Beaux can't do his job, is not capable of it and needs to go."
Dixon had felt good about his car, despite giving up the lead to Power at turn three on the opening lap and then slipping back to third behind eventual race winner Simon Pagenaud after a restart on lap 19.
He felt with pit stop exchanges and speed on worn tyres later in the race, he would have been able to get the better of Power who built a nine-second lead during the first stint under green.
Dixon now has just three races - two in Houston, October 5-6, and one at Fontana, California, October 19 - to make up the gap to Castroneves, Power's Penske teammate.
"There's still almost 160 points on the table," Dixon said. "We've just got to race as hard as we can and try to get the most points. That's all we can do. There's no other way around it.
"It's definitely becoming a lot more difficult. After last week, we would've been three points out with the pole that we got and then today we would've put a ton of Helio, who was having a tough day.
"Coulda, shoulda, woulda."
That may well end up being the title of Dixon's season.