Scott Dixon's IndyCar title defence is over after a frustrating day at the Grand Prix of Monterey, the penultimate race of the season.
Dixon went into the race sitting fourth in the standings, 49 points back from Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Alex Palou, but lost further ground after finishing 13th to be eliminated from the title race.
The six-time champion started in eight and midway through the race was stuck in an unfortunate position at the famous Corkscrew turn at the Laguna Seca track when Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Takuma Sato spun ahead of the Kiwi and reversed into him. At the time Dixon was sitting back from the leaders in 10th and struggling on his change of tires but it effectively ended his chances of making a run in the second half of the race.
Colton Herta won the race at the same venue for his father Bryan also won twice with Palou in second and former F1 driver Romain Grosjean in third.
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Palou sits 35 points ahead of Pato O'Ward heading into next weekend's final race at Long Beach where Dixon will have to play supporting teammate to ensure Chip Ganassi Racing claim another title. Josef Newgarden is another 13 points back and remains the only other driver who has a mathematical chance of winning the title.
Palou needs to finish 11th or better in Long Beach to be crowned champion.
Fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin finished in 12th, one spot ahead of Dixon and sits 13th in the overall standings and 10 points clear of Grosjean in the rookie standings.