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Milwaukee IndyFest (West Allis, Wisconsin): Hunter-Reay wins the extra Mile

For Dixon, Milwaukee offered some early signs of a possible Ganassi renaissance after an unusually poor first half of the 2013 season to date. "I think we went down a road earlier in the year and now we're just trying to regroup and find our way," he said. "Maybe we're lacking confidence in our changes with the car but we'll work hard and get better.

"We had a good day but went back and forth on some things," he continued. "We had understeer in the middle of the corner and the car snapped coming off. We had a bit better car then we showed. I got ran wide on the restart by Kanaan and didn't quite agree with it but then again what can you do."

Dixon finished just ahead of longtime race leader Takuma Sato, whose day had really unravelled with that scare on lap 183 and then the timing of the final caution which had left him unable to do better than seventh place by the finish.

"What an eventful and exciting race it was," he said. "Every pit stop we adjusted on the car and then the car started working really well. By mid race the ABC Supply car was beautiful and I was so enjoying driving it. The car was so strong in clean air and very strong in traffic as well.

"We were really happy with the whole balance of the car in the middle stint, but then unfortunately there was such a sudden loss of the rear grip towards the end of the race and I got high and lost track position," he lamented. "We thought there was an issue so we decided to pit as soon as our pit window opened and then try to charge back with fresh tyres. We were confident we could do it, but then the yellow came out and that was very bad timing for us because it put us behind those who hadn't pitted yet.

"They were able to pit and get ahead of us which is why we lined up in seventh," he confirmed. "Then they had fresher tyres too so it was really tough to pass them back. The boys did a great job with the pit stops all day long and I thought we could have brought a smile to AJ and we nearly did. It was still a great race, but it was so disappointing in the end - really a shame."

Sato was left sandwiched between Dixon and his Ganassi team mate Dario Franchitti, the Scot ending up as the last man still on the lead lap by the chequered flag despite starting under the ten-place penalty.

"Obviously we didn't have a great qualifying effort and then we took the engine change penalty before the race," Franchitti said. " We started in the back, made some good progress, but it was difficult to pass.

"The guys made good calls to keep me in the hunt but keeping the car pointed straight was a challenge - to pass people was very tough," he continued. "The cars are so close, so the series might be a victim of their own success right now. We need to start allowing something to differentiate when guys get it right and wrong."

The best of those to have been picked off the leaders during the 250-lap event was Justin Wilson, who finished in ninth place ahead of Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan who has suffered from intermittent communications problems for much of the afternoon.




Related Pictures

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Marco Andretti leads in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media.)
Marco Andretti in action in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media.)
Takuma Sato in action in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media.)
Ryan Hunter-Reay racing EJ Viso in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Ryan Hunter-Reay racing in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet IndyCar crosses the finish line to win the Milwaukee IndyFest race at the Milwaukee Mile Saturday, June 15, 2013 in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe wrecks after contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay in the closing laps of the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves leads the field down the frontstretch during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Degree Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, raced to a sixth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a fifth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power and Takuma Sato crash out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power crashes out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, and Graham Rahal go three-wide going into Turn 1 during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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