Kiwi Scott Dixon has finished second at the Indycar Championship season finale at Sonoma Raceway to capture his fifth title.

Starting second on the grid, Dixon drove a smart and sound race to hold his place right throughout.

Championship rival Alexander Rossi made a mistake on the opening lap when he made contact with teammate Marco Andretti and did damage to his nose cone that resulted in a puncture. He was forced to pit and fell to the back of the field.

Scott Dixon celebrates winning the 2018 IndyCar Series Championship. Photo / Getty Images
Scott Dixon celebrates winning the 2018 IndyCar Series Championship. Photo / Getty Images

Rossi took advantage of a perfectly-timed caution period to get back into the battle but wasn't able to get close enough to Dixon to mount a proper shot at the title.

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Pole-sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay led from start to finish to claim victory ahead of the Kiwi while Will Power was third.

"This is so awesome," Dixon said. "You always doubt these situations that it is going to happen."

"It is all about the people. I am the lucky one that gets to take it across the line.
"This doesn't come without a lot of hard work. We had a lot of things that could have gone wrong today.

"Rossi did a hell of a job. He pushed hard this year he is a real talent and has a big future ahead of him.

"We were just making sure we didn't get ourselves into an awkward moment that they could capitalize."

Dixon joins only the great AJ Foyt as a five-time series champion.

Rossi was naturally disappointed that basically any chance he had of winning the title ended on the opening lap and he wasn't sure what actually happened.

"I don't know," he said. "I got a good start – I don't know if [Andretti] lifted or I misjudged it. I don't know if I would have been able to catch Scott anyway.

"The team did a great job to get me back on the road to recovery after the mistake I made.

"A huge congrats to Scott – he is a five times champion for a reason and he is a great guy to race."