Dixon slides despite extending Mid-Ohio streak
Scott Dixon extended his recent streak of success at Mid-Ohio with his fourth victory in six years, but his win had a very different – and very pronounced – effect in the Castrol EDGE Rankings.
Despite ascending the podium’s top step the Kiwi actually slipped down the order, dropping four spots to 13th.
Several others gained as a result of his fall, among them Nico Rosberg, who broke into the Rankings top 10 for only the second time.
The unusual phenomenon of falling despite winning owed to Dixon’s past success at Mid-Ohio, and specifically the dominance of his 2011 win.
That year Dixon claimed pole position, set the fastest lap and led 50 of the 85 laps en route to victory.
This year’s win, in contrast, was delivered in far less emphatic fashion.
Will Power, for example, claimed pole position, with Dixon three places down in fourth.
Power also led the most laps, his tally of 57 more than double Dixon’s 26.
While the victory did ultimately go to Dixon, the fact he couldn’t match his 2011 success meant he was unable to defend his massive Mid-Ohio total, leading him to slip down the Rankings.
Victory of course limited the damage, but was not enough to prevent a four-place slide to 13th.
As he fell, Power strengthened his position as the highest-ranked IndyCar driver by gaining points, if not ground. He remains seventh, now six places clear of Dixon.
Dixon’s Ganassi team-mate Dario Franchitti also slid, a victim of his 2011 form and also a poor result this year.
The reigning champion had qualified on the front row alongside Power, and was still in touch with the leaders when James Hinchcliffe rejoined directly ahead of him following the second round of stops. The pair collided, and Franchitti was out of contention.
The upshot was a one-place fall, leaving Franchitti 18th in the Rankings.
His position as the third-highest IndyCar driver in the Rankings was actually strengthened however as Ryan Hunter-Reay suffered even bigger falls.
The latter, who had been closing rapidly on Franchitti, suffered myriad setbacks and eventually ended six laps down, having lost engine power toward the end.
He fell three spots to 22nd as a result.
Moving in the opposite direction were Simon Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais, who finished third and fourth respectively.
Pagenaud rose three spots to 29th, approaching his all-time best, while Bourdais leapt four places to 30th, jumping Helio Castroneves (32) in the process.