The IZOD IndyCar Series wrapped up its season Saturday night with a dramatic championship battle between Target Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Concerns of overheating and engine failure didn’t stop Dixon from securing a fifth-place finish and allowing him to edge Castroneves, who finished sixth, by 27 points for his third IZOD IndyCar Series crown. His other titles came in 2003 and ’08. "I did not think we had a chance at doing this, sitting in Victory Lane," Dixon said. "For all the ups and downs we had this year, I got to thank everybody on the team for sticking in there and making a comeback that I never thought was possible." … After being booted from the Chase, losing longtime sponsor NAPA and being told to look for other options outside of Michael Waltrip Racing next season, Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. received some good news last week as it was reported he will drive for Furniture Row Racing in 2014. The single-car team based out of Denver, Colo., made the Chase for the Sprint Cup this year with driver Kurt Busch. Busch will join Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 season. … NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the final four races of the season as he drives the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing left vacant by Brian Vickers. Last week, Vickers announced he would miss the remainder of the season because of a blood clot in his right calf. Vickers was placed on blood-thinning medication and is confident he will return in time for the start of next season. Vickers: “The timing for this is never good, but I’m glad we’ll get it out of the way now and be ready to run for a championship with the Aaron’s Dream Machine in 2014.” … Three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart underwent a third surgery to his broken right leg, this time to help heal an infection. Stewart broke his leg during an August sprint car accident in Iowa and has been sidelined ever since in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He is scheduled to return for the opening of the 2014 season.
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