Dixon’s win, his second consecutive after picking up his first victory of the season last weekend at Pocono, was clean and clear. It was the 31st of his career and moved him into a tie for seventh on the all-time win list with teammate Dario Franchitti, Bourdais and Paul Tracy.
Bourdais was second in his first podium finish since the 2007 Champ Car season, but his celebration was short-lived: The glass trophy he received slipped off the stand as it was handed to him and shattered into thousands of pieces.
Franchitti, meanwhile, was handed the third-place trophy only to learn right before the traditional champagne spray that he’d been stripped of the finish for blocking Will Power on the final lap.
“It’s a load of crap, the call,” said Franchitti. “There’s a lot of frustrations with IndyCar, and this says a lot.”
Franchitti was in third when the race restarted with one lap remaining. The cars were lined up single file on the restart and Power set up an attempt to pass that Franchitti tried to defend. Power eventually got past Franchitti, but couldn’t make it stick as he hit the tire barrier after slipping ahead.
“I was defending. It’s always someone else’s fault with Will. I went to the outside, and he went to the inside when there was only a half a car length,” Franchitti said before the penalty was announced.
IndyCar penalized Franchitti after the race for blocking Power, issuing a 25-second penalty that took him out of third place. His reaction was immediate anger.
His Target Chip Ganassi Racing team appealed the penalty and IndyCar summoned Franchitti to its at-track office long after the race had ended.
“Of all the stuff that went on, all day, anybody I raced against would protect the inside and the person trying to pass people would be on the outside,” Franchitti said. “I made my intentions very clear.
“Will shoe-horned his way in there, out of control, I braked late, my car is dancing around. He bounced off the wall, bounced off of me and he proceeded to keep the thing locked up and headed into the tires. I don’t see how that has anything to do with me. I was defending the inside, I gave him the outside as was my right, and that was it.”
Power’s take wasn’t as detailed.
“Me and Dario just don’t like Turn 3,” Power said, referencing a 2011 incident here between the two. “I’ve never driven so hard through a whole race. I’m kind of disappointed to have been sitting in the tires in Turn 3.”
Marco Andretti, meanwhile, had been moved into third place and participated in the post-race news conference. He was directly behind the incident between Franchitti and Power and declined to give an opinion on the ruling.
“It could go either way, I wouldn’t want to be the one to comment,” Andretti said. “But if it moves me to third, that was definitely a block.”