With massive apologies to Ernest Thayer...
Scott Dixon's still my pick to win the overall championship this year. But what if, just what if, he doesn't? Let's flash forward to Fontana....
The outlook wasn't brilliant for Chip Ganassi's crew that day:
The Penskes had the points lead, with but one fuel stint left to play.
And when Rahal crashed in first turn, and the Scotsman did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the fans of Target's Famed.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope and their ninth cans of Milwaukee's Best;
They thought, if only Dixie could get a whack at that -
We'd put up even money, now, with Scott Dixon on the track.
But Viso had passed Dixon, as did also Jimmy Jakes,
And the former was a blocker and the latter had no brakes;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance for Scott D. to get past that.
But Viso blew an engine, to the wonderment of all,
And Jakes, of Acorn Stairlifts, tore his sidepod on the wall;
And when the dust had lifted, and all saw what occurred,
There was EJ twenty-second, and Jakes in twenty-third.
Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the paddock, and through Suite Row as well;
It shook upon the bleachers and knocked Bob Jenkins flat,
For Dixon, mighty Dixon, was advancing up the track.
There was ease in Dixon's manner as he worked his kind of race;
There was pride in in Dixon's driving, and a smile on Chippy's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he went lightly forth and back,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Dixie on track.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he went on high alert;
While Robin Miller vainly searched for Dixie's wife to flirt.
Then while the leading Power went down to block and slip,
Defiance gleamed in Dixon's eye, as his Honda roared and ripped.
And now the red-covered car came hurtling through the air,
And Dixon drove it deep in turns, with three laps left to spare;
Close by the sturdy Power he tried to pull ahead-
"The time's not right," said Dixie. "Don't block," the race steward said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
As they had in Indianapolis, when Sato's passing luck turned poor.
"Blocking! Show the black flag!" shouted someone in the stand;
And its likely they'd thought riot had not Dixon raised his hand.
With a hint of Kiwi stoic grace great Dixon's visage shone;
He told his crew to chill out; he bade the race go on;
He got a look in Turn 3, and once more the cheering grew;
But Power once more blocked him, and then the white flag flew.
"Boo!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered boo;
But they remembered that the Iceman was not a man to screw.
They recalled his face grown blank and cold, as he became Old Penske's bane,
And they simply knew that Dixon would not let Power lead again.
The distance closed between the cars; is it Dixon's check and mate?
He's a nose ahead in fourth turn, as Power dives in late.
And now Will Power cuts across, with a hundred yards to go,
And now the air is torn and tossed, and watch the flagman throw!
Oh, somewhere in this favored land there are Target stores alight;
Pippa Mann is driving somewhere, and somewhere Pruett writes,
And somewhere fans are laughing, and somewhere Chipster pouts;
But there is no joy in Cali - mighty Dixie has crashed out.