Motorsport: Scott Dixon's IndyCar title hopes take a hit despite podium finish in Portland

Kiwi Scott Dixon's chances of retaining his IndyCar title have taken another blow, sitting fourth in the championship standings after a third-placed finish in Portland, Oregon.

Chip Ganassi driver Dixon, 41, finished third in Monday morning's race, crossing the line behind teammate and race winner Alex Palou, and Andretti's Alexander Rossi in second.

Both Dixon and Palou were caught up in an incident on the opening lap, and made their way back to the front of the field to both finish on the podium.

And despite Dixon slipping further behind Palou with the season's finish in sight, the Kiwi and six-time IndyCar champion still has hope that he can turn things around.

However, the Kiwi is also content with playing a support role to steer Palou to his maiden title over the coming two races.

"It's definitely been a trying season for us, but ultimately if it comes down to we need to help Alex, that's fine, too," Dixon said. 

"I think for us it's about keeping the championship at home and at the team. Unless you're out, you're not out. 

"It's all possible."

The result sees Dixon sit 49 points back from Palou, who leads the championship, heading into the final two races of the season. Dixon is also 24 points behind second placed Pato O'Ward of Arrow McLaren, and 15 points behind Team Penske's Josef Newgarden in third.

Elsewhere, fellow Kiwi and former V8 Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin put in an impressive drive. 

Starting down in 15th on the grid, McLaughlin pulled off a series of overtakes to finish in ninth position, and sit 13th in the driver's standings.

The IndyCar series continues with its penultimate race in Monterrey, California on September 20 (NZ time), before finishing in Long Beach on September 26.