Dixon earns final podium spot, after blocking call on Rahal

by Tucker White On Sun, Apr. 14, 2019

LONG BEACH, Calif. - APRIL 14: Scott Dixon, during the NTT IndyCar Series Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 14, 2019, in Long Beach, California. Photo: John Cote/IndyCar Photography

Scott Dixon parked his car right in front of Graham Rahal on pit road in the staging area, following the final lap of the NTT IndyCar Series’ annual trip to Long Beach, Calif., because he believed Rahal would lose the final podium position for blocking him on the backstretch.

And he was correct, because race control came on the radio moments later to announce that Rahal made an illegal block which moved Dixon up to third.

Dixon had a run on Rahal exiting Turn 8 and racing down the backstretch on the final lap of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, when Rahal moved down the track to block his advance.

“I moved right as quick as I could, out of the corner, as you can see,” Rahal said to Marty Snider of NBC Sports, pointing at a TV monitor. “Then I gave him a lane.

“By the rules, you’re allowed to make your move, which I did, on the exit of the corner, and that was it.”

“As the rule is, you can’t come back to defend if somebody is already there,” Dixon said. “And that’s what happened.”

Rahal didn’t deny that he blocked. He even out-right admitted that he did.

“You’re allowed to block in this series,” he said. “You’re allowed to make a move. I made a move. That’s allowed.”

Rahal said afterwards that it wasn’t a tough result to swallow, because his used red front tires were shot, and that he had no grip, but he wanted an explanation for what was wrong with his move.

“The problem is we see such large discrepancies in what is a block, what’s not a block.

“It’s fine. We just need to go forward and understand it better.”

At the end of the day, however, while he believed he deserved third, he was happy with the good points day.

“We haven’t had a lot of luck this year,” he added. “So I’ll just take it as it is and move on.”

For Dixon, the podium finish salvaged a pit road mistake, where the crew couldn’t fully connect the fuel hose to the car for a few seconds. Running the start of the race on used reds wasn’t the right call, according to Dixon.

“Definitely the last stint was strong for our car. It’s unfortunate we had the fuel probe issue. I think we could’ve had a great race for second there.”

Dixon leaves Long Beach third in points, 33 back of Josef Newgsarden. Rahal leaves in ninth, 76 back of Newgarden.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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