Dixon earns final podium spot, after blocking call on Rahal

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.

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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