Dixon Scores Hat Trick
July 22, 2007 | 4:01 P.M. EST
The Target Chip Ganassi driver, who was celebrating his 27th birthday, scored his third consecutive victory at the inaugural Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Dixon ties the record that Kenny Brack (1998) and Dan Wheldon (2005) share for consecutive IndyCar Series victories.
"It was a tough race. The first stint was about saving fuel. I could tell Helio was doing it," Dixon said. "We just saved a little bit more to do an extra lap. The second or third stint was so flat out I couldn't believe it. It was like qualifying every lap just trying to hang on. It was a tough day but a great day for the championship.
"We're just trying to close in. That's the problem with Dario (Franchitti), he's just so consistent. When we're winning, he's in the top three. It would have been nice if he would have had a fourth of fifth today and we could have really closed in."
Dixon didn't gain as much in the point standings as one would hope with a victory, as points leader Dario Franchitti finished second, 2.6917 seconds behind Dixon.
Polesitter Helio Castroneves finished third with Tony Kanaan crossing the finish line in fourth.
The 85-lap race saw only one major incident involving Danica Patrick, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti on Lap 1. Patrick's car was sent off course by Kanaan, and in the mess, Andretti's No. 26 ended up on its top.
He escaped unhurt, but was knocked out of the race and finished last.
Darren Manning finished a season-high sixth. Ryan Hunter-Reay, making his IndyCar Series debut in the No. 17 Team Ethanol car for Rahal Letterman Racing, finished seventh.