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article imageINDYCAR: Dixon keeps slim hopes of another title alive with win

By John Duarte     Aug 25, 2014 in Sports
Sonoma - Reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon made a late move to win the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, and set up a grand finale for the series in the last race of the 2014 season next weekend.
Dixon charged into the lead with three laps remaining in the race, at Sonoma Raceway, and held on for the win, thus keeping his chances of repeating as Verizon IndyCar Series champion alive.
“It was tough because there were so many strategies going on,” Dixon said. “I didn't know who could make and who couldn't. This is just a big win for our team.”
But even the victory couldn't mask Dixon's disappointment of a lackluster start to the 2014 Verizon IndtCar Series season. He finished out of the Top 10 in four of the first six races and four times out of the Top 15 in the first 10 races.
“For me, it's been one of the worst seasons I've had,” he said. “We know our team finishes strong, but if we could have started the season on the map, we could have done a lot better.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second in the GoPro grand Prix of Sonoma and Simon Pagenaud was third.
The Verizon IndyCar Series wraps up its 2014 schedule with the MAVTV 500, a night race on Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, Calif.. For the ninth-consecutive year, the series championship will be decided on the final race of the season.
Only five drivers have a chance at this year's title.
Will Power leads the standings by 51 points, with a maximum of 104 points up for grabs. Power, who won last year's season finale at Auto Club Speedway, wasn't about to let confidence get the better of him and remained stoic while chasing his first-ever IndyCar championship. He needs to finish seventh or better to win the title.
“There's still a lot of points on the table and a lot of racing to come,” he said. “You've just got to focus on the job at hand and get the most out of every situation.”
Helio Castroneves is his nearest challenger and says the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series title is still very much up for grabs and still 500 miles away.
“We are not giving up,” said Castroneves, who is also chasing his first IndyCar championship. “We will keep on it and give everything we have next weekend. We know what we need to do now over the 500 miles.”
Pagenaud sit third in the standings, 81 points off the pace, while Hunter-Reay is another 11 points back.
Dixon has a mathematical chance at retaining his IndyCar series title. He is 103 points behind Power and could be eliminated from the chase before the race starts should Power earn a point as top qualifier. On his way to capturing the championship last year, Dixon went into the final race 25 points ahead of Castroneves and finished the race fifth, one place ahead of his challenger, to take the title. Dixon is holding on to the slimmest of hopes.
“I still need that meteorite to strike (Power's car),” joked Dixon.
More about verizon indycar series, Scott Dixon, will power, Helio castroneves, sonoma raceway
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