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Wilson rues costly Long Beach clash with Dixon

Justin Wilson was convinced he was on course for victory at Long Beach, until a battle for the lead with Scott Dixon ended up disaster for the #19.
Long Beach: race report
Long Beach: full results

After starting from tenth place on the grid for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson had managed to climb up to second place behind Scott Dixon for the penultimate restart of the day on lap 65.

An early pit stop had gained Wilson the track position, but now it seemed that Dixon was on the same strategy and both were at risk of attack from Will Power in third place who had pitted later and was on fresher, faster tyres. That meant Wilson needed to get past Dixon as soon as possible before he became a sitting duck for the #12.

"[We] had a fantastic restart," noted Wilson. "I had a couple of looks, tried to go down the inside in turn 1 and got blocked, which is fine - he moved first, I went to the outside and got squeezed on the outside. I was like 'hang on a minute.'

"Then coming out of 5 the same thing happened," Wilson continued. "He chose the inside so I took the outside and nearly got put in the wall then, so I did the old switchback out of 6 climbing the hill to 7, and then to 8 Scott had the inside but he wanted the outside as well and I got sandwiched between him and the wall, bent both sides of the car and the end of our day."

Ultimately Dixon was two laps short of making it to the end on fuel despite a further two laps run under yellow caused by Graham Rahal being spun out at the hairpin. But Wilson insisted that he would have made it to the finish - and claimed the victory - if Dixon hadn't put him into the wall and out of the race.

"We had the fuel to make it to the end, we were making great fuel mileage under the yellows and great fuel mileage on track," he confirmed. "We gambled and could make the mileage and we should have been at least on the podium.

"It is just frustrating when something like this is taken away from you," he added. "We worked so hard, had fantastic strategy. I think we are there and we have got what it takes. We have some great people and the car runs flawlessly and we are out there trying to win races."

For his part, Dixon said that he regretted the rash and explained that he'd simply been caught out by what Wilson was trying to do into turn 8: "I feel bad for the accident with Justin Wilson. I didn't expect him to be there on the outside so I will go talk to him," he said.

As for running out of fuel, Dixon admitted that had been a heartbreaker for him and the Chip Ganassi Racing team.

It was a tough situation for the Target team to be in there leading at the end and not make it," he said. "We ended up being about a half of a lap short on fuel and didn't get a break with a yellow flag. We could have stayed out and tried it but then we would have risked running out of fuel and wrecking the field."

Dixon ended up dropping to the back of the lead lap in 12th place for the chequered flag, while Wilson's retirement meant that he was classified with 16th place in the final race results.

"Not the day we wanted but we'll regroup and be ready for Barber," said Dixon, already looking forward to the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in two weeks time at Barber Motorsports Park.

Long Beach: race report
Long Beach: full results


Related Pictures

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Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson in the hairpin during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Justin Wilson during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Team Chevy sweeps the podium as Tony Kanaan (center), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Saturday, August 30, 2014, during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Teammate Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes second, and Ed Carpenter, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet V6, finishes third. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Gregg EllmanLAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by posing with the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by kissing the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Confetti falls on the podium trio Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter celebrate after the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan takes a selfie with his Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew in Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Chip Ganassi congratulates Tony Kanaan on winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday August 30 2014 (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon spins during practice (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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