4 June 2011
Dario downcast after Indy flop
"But, uh, yeah - tough one to get over," agreed Dario. Even the idea that there was still the 2011 IndyCar championship still to fight over seemed unable to cheer him. "Yeah, they were talking about that yesterday, and it's not much consolation, really. This is such an important race.
"There will be [other Indy 500s]," Dario agreed as he departed for the Victory Banquet. But it was clear that this loss had hurt more than usual: rarely has a team gone in to an Indy 500 as such runaway favourites, only to come out with so little reward.
If Dario didn't win, then Ganassi really should have still have triumphed with a different strategy for Scott Dixon - but that attempt inexplicably faltered too.
"We misjudged on our last pit stop and didn't get the last couple of gallons of fuel in the car. It cost us the race, and that's frustrating," Dixon wrote in a column for the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel Online. "It was simply a bad call. We were trying to stay ahead of Dan at the time, so the decision was made to save a couple of seconds by not completing the fueling.
"We ended up a few gallons short, so I had to back off at the end to save fuel. We ended up finishing fifth. If we'd had a full load of fuel, we could have contended for the victory ... The thing that really bothered me about it was that Dan wasn't really close at the time."
Despite his own disappointment, Dixon can also take some happiness in Dan Wheldon's eventual win, the two of them having been team mates together at Ganassi for three years between 2006 and 2008 - the last of those being a three-wide line-up with Dario.
"I was happy to see my former teammate, Dan Wheldon, win in a storybook finish. If Dario or I couldn't win, then I was happy to see Dan get his second 500," Dixon write. "It was such a great story, from what he's been through recently to doing it as a one-off with a start-up team and winning in such a dramatic way. Seeing Dan win took the edge off a bit."
Speaking about the unique nature of the Indy 500 event, Dixon said: "It's such a strange and challenging place. And I can't wait to get back next year."
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