Newgarden wins IndyCar finale but can't deny Dixon 6th title

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Scott Dixon, left, and Chip Ganassi celebrate after winning the NTT IndyCar Series Championship following an IndyCar auto race Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Scott Dixon controlled his own fate and simply needed a smooth Sunday drive to win a sixth IndyCar championship.

He was a tactician as he followed Josef Newgarden around the streets of downtown St. Petersburg. So long as he kept Newgarden in his sight, Dixon would yank the crown away from the American and add another milestone to his illustrious career.

Newgarden won the season finale, using a spectacular two-car pass for the lead in a valiant effort to win a second consecutive title. Winning was not enough, though, to deny Dixon his coronation.

Dixon stealthily finished third in an easy drive to another title.

“They just shadowed us all day, it was the smart play,” said Newgarden, who admitted his shot at the title was so slim it spoiled his mood the entire weekend.

Dixon was already looking forward to the next goal: A.J. Foyt’s record seven titles.

“Six is good. Seven sounds better," Dixon said. “That’s obviously going to be the goal. But it’s tough, as you can see from the competition, even if you mess up just a little bit.

"Just have a smooth race, and that’s what we did. Credit to Josef, he drove a hell of a race there and put us under a lot of pressure.”