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Dixon wins to overhaul Briscoe

Scott Dixon has moved to the top of the Indy Racing League standings with just one race remaining after an error by erstwhile leader Ryan Briscoe at Motegi pushed him onto the back foot.

Briscoe came into the race with a 32 point lead over Dixon, but saw the margin overhauled when he misjudged his exit from the pit lane and ran over a time line cone, forcing him to pit again and lose touch with the leaders. He would be classified in 18th position.

Dixon, meanwhile, romped to victory from pole position to eke ahead of Briscoe with only the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway remaining.

The title fight remains a three-way fight, however, with Dixon only five points up on Dario Franchitti, the Scot shadowing the New Zealander all the way to the chequered flag to complete a Ganassi 1-2 – a first for the team in Japan.

Although he couldn't make the most of a late caution period, caused when Ryan Hunder-Reay crashed, Franchitti remains just a mere five points adrift of Dixon, with Briscoe a further three points behind.

"Tremendous day for Team Target," said Dixon. “It's what we needed to do. It's a track I've always wanted to win at. I remember coming here in the early years and competing for different engine manufacturers and how much emphasis is put on this race. Definitely a good day for points and I'm very happy."

Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing also had reason to be pleased, with Graham Rahal climbing onto the podium in third position, the youngster ensuring the second closest 1-3 finish of all-time as he chased his more experienced rivals over the line. He was joined in the upper echelons of the standings by team-mate Oriol Servia, the Spaniard performing well on his less favoured oval setting.

An early refuelling problem prevented front row sitter Mario Moraes from converting that into a second consecutive podium finish, although the KVRT driver was able to put on an impressive spurt in the latter stages to climb to a fine fifth place finish having run as low as 18th.

It put him ahead of 2008 Motegi winner Danica Patrick, who in turn held off her team-mate Marco Andretti to lead the AGR charge. Dan Wheldon, top rookie Raphael Matos and Helio Castroneves – recovering from starting at the back of the grid – completed the top ten.


Tagged as: Dixon , Motegi , Japan , Franchitti , Patrick , Moraes , Briscoe

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Briscoe edges Scott Dixon in Chicagoland thriller   [pic credit: IRL/Payne]
Indy Racing League.  July 31-Aug. !, 2009. Kentucky Speedway. Sparta, Ky. USA. Pole winner, Scott Dixon.
Indy Racing League.  7-9 August 2009.  Honda Indy  200. Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Lexington, Ohio. Justin Wilson, Briscoe, Dixon, Hunter-Rey and Duno.
Indy Racing League.  7-9 August 2009.  Honda Indy  200. Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Lexington, Ohio. Race winner, Scott Dixon.
Indy Racing League. 26-27 June, 2009. Sun Trust Indy Challenge. Richmond International Speedway. Richmond, Virginia. Scott Dixon.
Scott Dixon rolls out of pitlane during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe at St Petersburg. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe at St Petersburg. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Will Power, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, Takuma Sato, Mike Conway, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing introduces the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Indianapolis 500 pace car Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive the Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the race on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet Racing announces Tuesday, March 25, 2014 that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race. The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. (Photo Courtesy of IMS Photography for Chevy Racing)
Dario Franchitti reviews data in the Target Chip Ganassi pit stand at the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
The 2014 Chevrolet engine of Scott Dixon. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon prepares to take to the track during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday March 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Zac Rom

September 20, 2009 5:19 AM

Im loving the IndyCars lately, since they started doing the Road courses as well as the Ovals especially. It always comes down to the last race, I remember 2 years ago when Scott Dixon ran out of gas on the last corner of the last lap of the last race & lost the Chamionship there, THAT was a bummer! Im hoping Dixon wins again, I really do think, out of all the IndyCar drivers, & theres a few F1 refugees in there, He would do well in F1. Of course it will never happen, the NZ F1 TV audience is too small so all the Kiwis end up racing in the States, unlike the Days of Bruce McLaren, Dennis Hulme & Chris Amon BUT that was when it was a sport rather than a Business. Anyway, Go Scott!

sharla - Unregistered

September 19, 2009 8:50 PM

Of the three title challengers, it was most likely to be Briscoe to mess up. But hitting the pit wall when there was already a caution was really bad



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