Infineon Not Kind To Points Leaders
August 21, 2008 | 9:19 A.M. EST
Dixon, who brings a 78-point lead over Helio Castroneves into the PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County on Aug. 24, won last year's race to take over the points lead from Dario Franchitti, who finished third.
In 2006, Sam Hornish Jr. entered race weekend as the points leader and left trailing Castroneves after finishing ninth. In 2005, points leader Dan Wheldon finished 18th at Infineon.
"I'm happy to be back here in Sonoma," said Dixon, who has a record-tying six victories this season. "It's a big race for us. Last year, it was definitely a turning point for us chasing for the championship. We came up a bit short, but this year is looking a lot better so far. Coming back here, having done so well here last year, we're definitely looking forward to that."
Castroneves knows it won't be easy to cut into Dixon's lead.
"We're going to do everything we can to finish ahead of Dixon, hopefully as far ahead of him as possible," said Castroneves, who has finished second seven times in 2008. "We've been trying to do that all season. We're looking good. Infineon is a place where we feel comfortable."
The task has turned a bit more difficult for Castroneves, whose primary car was damaged by a fire on the team's transporter en route to the track.
"If there's a team that can rebound from something like this, it's Team Penske," Castroneves said. "They've done it before, and we're going to do it again. It's tough because you have some small bits, seats for example, I loved the seat that I had, and I'm going to have to use the spare one. Little details - the car was prepared for here. My guys are going to do what they can. We're going to go out there, put that behind us, and hopefully that will give us even more motivation to go out there and do well."