Niagara Gazette

Sports

July 13, 2013

Controversy marks first day of IndyCar in Toronto

Niagara Gazette — TORONTO — Long after Scott Dixon raised the winner's trophy for the second week in a row, controversy and comedy hung over the first of two races through the streets of Toronto.

What was certain was that Dixon's win Saturday at Exhibition Place was the 31st of his career and moved him into a tie for seventh all-time with teammate Dario Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy.

It was also official that Bourdais finished second for his first podium since the 2007 Champ Car season. He didn't get much of a celebration, though: His trophy slipped off the pedestal and smashed into thousands of pieces.

So he raised the biggest chunk he could find in triumph on a podium shared with Dixon and third-place finisher Franchitti.

Then right before the traditional champagne spray, the party turned serious: IndyCar had stripped Franchtti of his finish for blocking Will Power on the final restart. Franchitti's Target Chip Ganassi Racing appealed the penalty, and the driver was summoned before series officials at least an hour after the race.

It left the final finishing order undecided for two hours as the Ganassi team presented data from the incident.

The end result? Almost two hours after the race, Franchitti was returned to his third-place finish.

And to think, IndyCar gets to do it all over again Sunday in the second of three doubleheader weekends on this year's schedule.

Dixon will be trying to make it three in a row, just a week after picking up his first win of the season at Pocono. There's a $50,000 bonus out there if he can sweep the Toronto doubleheader.

"Yeah, you know, it sounds simple, right?" Dixon said. "But it's not going to be. There will be people trying to mix it up; people who had a bad day today will be trying to make it up in race two."

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