That impact sent Howard across the track, where Dixon had nowhere to go.
Polesitter for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, Scott Dixon's race has come to an early end. Both Howard and Dixon were evaluated and released from the infield care center.
Dixon also helped protect himself from major injury by taking his hands off the steering wheel and tucking them inside the auto.
Sunday's race was won by Takuma Sato, who became the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500.
Since we're using words like "spectacular" to describe the incident, it's clear that, despite the impressive airtime, nobody got hurt. You're hoping Jay is going to stay against the wall.
That Dixon lived to tell the tale was not guaranteed after a scary incident in which commentators - who later said he was "incredibly lucky" - were left stunned.
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Dixon, 36, said he was "just a little beaten up".
Dixon was calm and disappointed after the "wild ride". It started to turn down, but I'd already picked that way to go.
Howard later put the blame onto Ryan Hunter-Reay for "pushing me out on to the marbles". "I was just doing what I could to try to make up laps, salvage the race, pick up some yellows".
"It just wasn't meant to be but you've got to be in to win it. To say that I'm upset would be an understatement". It was just a wild ride, man. "You believe in the safety progress of these cars".
Scott Dixon's auto is airborne after a collision with Jay Howard.