Chip Ganassi Racing’s reigning champion Dixon was making use of stress to Rahal as they began the final lap preventing for third place. As soon as the RLLR driver used up his final push-to-pass turbo increase, price round 60hp, alongside the entrance straight, he was weak to assault from the five-time champion on the again straight, between Turns eight and 9.
Rahal, who was struggling along with his entrance tires, locked up his proper entrance tire as he slowed for the entry to the right-hand Flip eight, however stored the automobile beneath management, and moved to the correct as quickly as he was onto the again straight. This was to drive Dixon to not less than go the great distance round him into Flip 9, one other right-hander.
Nevertheless, Dixon’s tidier line via Flip eight had allowed him to realize on Rahal and he moved concurrently with him to the right-side of the observe. Dixon’s higher exit pace and push-to-pass increase gave him extra momentum, and the entrance wing of the Ganassi automobile made contact with the rear tire of the RLLR machine, which then harm his momentum.
Rahal then moved to the center of the observe down the again straight and held on via the ultimate turns to cross the road in third. Nevertheless, Race Management – run by Kyle Novak, Max Papis and Arie Luyendyk – thought-about Rahal’s defensive transfer a reactionary slightly than anticipatory block.
Phillips, who switched from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to turn out to be president of RLLR final winter, informed Motorsport.com: “It was protection however he’s entitled to do this. I disagree with the stewards.
“In case you take a look at the onboard, Graham comes out and hits the skin curb, and immediately strikes proper to defend. In my view, it was not in response to Dixon’s transfer.
“However sadly myself, Ricardo [Nault, Rahal’s race engineer], Bob [Rahal] have been in to the stewards and stated our bit and so they’re not overturning their choice. So I suppose we’ll simply need to take our medication and await issues to show across the different means.
“However I feel they’ve set a precedent now. There’s going to be lots of people each defensive transfer and so they’ll need to be constant. It’s disappointing. And what I’m afraid of is that it’ll intimidate drivers into not racing one another.
“This isn’t speculated to be ‘after you, Claude’. That is racing, and a superb protection is as necessary a device for a driver to have in his skillset as a superb assault. And I believed Graham performed it completely proper. Like I say, he moved in anticipation of Dixon making a transfer. He couldn’t have moved to the correct any sooner after exiting Flip eight. It simply so occurred that Scott was selecting to go the identical means.
“Graham knew he’d misplaced a little bit of momentum, he knew the menace, so the very least he was going to do was make Scott go the great distance round. I don’t perceive why [the stewards] known as it the way in which they did.”
Graham Rahal stated: “I’ve reviewed it, I’ve watched it. I’ve watched the top on clip, the overhead clip. I moved proper as fast as I might out of the nook after which I gave him a lane. By the foundations you’re allowed to make your transfer, which I did on the exit of the nook. That was it.
“Look, I’m not upset about it. We had a superb day. Our automobile wasn’t nice immediately, but it surely was first rate and the TOTAL Oil crew pushed laborious. That’s all we are able to say. Did I block? Sure, I blocked; you’re allowed to dam on this sequence. You’re allowed to make a transfer; I made a transfer. That’s allowed.
“I didn’t return to the left; there’s a lane to the left. He had overtake [push-to-pass boost], I didn’t. If he wished to go, he might go.
“On the finish of the day, P4. Will we deserve P3? In all probability, however you already know what? It was a superb day and good factors for us. We haven’t had a number of luck this season, so I’ll simply take it as it’s and transfer on. We’ve received the [Indy] Grand Prix, we’ve received the 500. I’m wanting ahead to it. Hopefully we’ll go get a few wins there.”
Bobby Rahal commented: “It’s powerful as a result of the definition… What’s a transfer? What’s this, what’s that? I feel it was a foul choice however that’s a private opinion.
“I feel it’s laborious as a result of whenever you put your self in these sorts of conditions, whenever you’re making judgments, you actually put your self between a rock and a tough place, as a result of what are you gonna do subsequent time? What constitutes [a block]? How do you outline it? That’s the issue.
“In case you’re doing this [Rahal simulated a driver weaving from side-to-side] then that’s blocking, and if Dixon was proper there and Graham was squeezing him in the direction of the fence then I’d agree completely [with the penalty]. Nevertheless it wasn’t that means, and now it places everybody in a tenuous place.
“We want a definition [of a block], as a result of till they actually know what that’s, it’s going to go on.”