Dixon Stays On Target

The Bombardier 500 could not have started any better for Team Target. Teammates Tomas Scheckter and Scott Dixon qualified 1-2 for the first night race of the season. It was the first time since St. Louis in 2000 that the team has occupied the first two starting spots.

When the green flag dropped, Scheckter dominated the competition, leading 145 of the next 149 laps. This is the second straight race that he has led the most circuits. In fact, Scheckter also led the most laps here in Texas last year, before succumbing to a clutch problem. Unfortunately, bad luck struck the 22-year old South African.

On lap 150, Scheckter came in to make his final pit stop. While leaving the pits, the vent hose for the fuel stuck in the car, creating a pit fire. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident. However, the #10 Target car was given the black flag for leaving the pits with equipment attached to the car. After the infraction, Scheckter wound up a lap down. He was battling back through the field, when something broke on the car and sent Scheckter into the outside wall. Thankfully, the 22-year old was unhurt. He was treated and released from the infield care center shortly after the incident.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Scheckter. “Something broke on the car, I saw sparks and then I hit the wall. We had such a great car out there tonight. I have to thank Team Target for giving me such an awesome race car.” (On the pit fire) “I think that the vent hose got stuck on the car. Luckily, Andy’s (Andy Natalie – Fueler) OK and that’s good. We had a dominating car tonight, but I’m sick of dominating. I want to win one of these races that we lead laps and have the car to beat.”

Teammate Scott Dixon fought an ill-handling car for a good portion of the race, but rallied to post a a solid 6th place finish. Although Dixon had his streak of races led end at 4, the young Kiwi was happy to get back into the championship race.

“We struggled a little bit tonight,” Dixon said. “We couldn’t find the perfect balance on the car. The car was loose on restarts and then as the run went on the car began to push. But, it’s not a bad finish for us. We got some championship points, it just wasn’t our night.”

Next week the IRL heads west to Pikes Peak, Colorado to compete in the Indy 225. The race can be seen live next Sunday on ABC Sports beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Race Center

Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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