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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)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon after winning P1 at IMS for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon leaves for his qualifying run for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins pole for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins pole for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Doug Mathews for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon car after winning pole for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis Mile Race on Sunday May 18 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)

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