Motorsport: Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin fall short in quest for IndyCar title

Team Penske driver Will Power took out his second IndyCar title. Photo / AP

Scott Dixon’s bid for a record-equalling seventh IndyCar title fell short in California.

Dixon and fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin were among the five title contenders going into the season finale, the Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

But they were never in the hunt as Australian Will Power claimed his second series title, eight years after the first.

Dixon finished the series third, while the rising McLaughlin had a sensational finish to end up fourth in the series.

The 2021 champion Alex Palou produced a sensational drive to claim his first win of the season. The title-chasing Josef Newgarden, who was at the back of the starting grid, was also impressive, roaring through the field to finish second in the race and series.

But the 41-year-old Australian Power – who had just broken Mario Andretti’s record for pole positions – emerged with the 2022 series victory thanks to a smooth drive for third.

The Penske drive had just one win a season in which there were nine different race winners.

The famously consistent Dixon has been a title contender in 11 of his 21 IndyCar seasons.

He is bidding to equal AJFoyt’s record of seven titles, but his fellow Kiwi McLaughlin now presents one of the hurdles to him doing so.

In just his second season, McLaughlin has been an undoubted success story, to the point that he may be among the title favorites next year.

McLaughlin, also from the dominant Team Penske which includes Power and Newgarden, was under initial orders to cover Chip Ganassi’s Dixon.

McLaughlin ended up tied for fourth with Palou, but claimed fourth for himself on the tiebreaker, having won three races this year.

McLaughlin was sixth and Dixon 12th at Monterey.