Multiple penalties early in the race couldn’t stop Scott Dixon from prevailing in the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
The veteran from New Zealand picked up his third victory of 2023 and the 56th of his storied IndyCar Series career, though it was too little, too late in terms of the current season. Alex Palou of Spain had clinched the series championship with one week to go by winning last week’s race in Portland, Ore.
Dixon was assessed both a starting grid penalty and an early on-track penalty, navigating multiple cautions en route to crossing the finish line first in his No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, 7.3180 seconds ahead of countryman Scott McLaughlin.
“We had a bit of an issue this morning,” Dixon said on the NBC Sports broadcast. “We got a grid penalty and had to go to — lose six spots, and then got up in some mayhem at the start. … I had nowhere to go, so I don’t know what they expect me to do, but we won. That’s all that matters. We won.”
It was Dixon’s third win in four races, though still not enough to catch Palou in the points standings.
“It’s been a special group to be a part of,” Dixon said of his team. “Obviously celebrating Alex’s second championship, which is big too. Obviously he tied it up last week.”
Palou finished the race third, Australia’s Will Power was fourth and Callum Ilott of Great Britain took fifth.
–Field Level Media