IndyCar champion Scott Dixon says his first victory of 2019 in the Detroit finale was "redemption" after "feeling a bit of an idiot" for his first race crash.
Dixon failed to finish his race since Texas in 2017 and his crash in the Detroit opener meant it was the first time he had not reached the flag in 32 races.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver clipped the wall at Turn 6 and broke the toe-link, meaning he hit the outside wall too.
But on Sunday, Dixon led 44 of the 70 laps in Detroit and made a two-stop strategy work when most of his rivals made an extra stop.
Ahead of the race, Dixon had spoken to Autosport about the need to go "aggressive" and target race wins as his championship defence was proving more difficult.
"Today [Sunday] was all about redemption," said Dixon. "The team nailed the strategy, the car was super fast, we were able to get the mileage we needed to, which was going to be really tough [without] those last couple cautions."
Asked if the victory was made more gratifying because of his Saturday error, Dixon said: "Yeah, big-time, more so just for the team.
"Felt like a bit of an idiot yesterday, especially clipping that inside wall. Honestly, when I hit it, I didn't think it was going to break the suspension. It did.
"We're just happy that we got the win, the first win out of the way this year."
Dixon had fallen to 92 points off Josef Newgarden's championship lead following his opening race crash.
But he then slashed that gap to 52 points following his victory, boosted by Penske's Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud suffering attritional races that left them 19th and 17th respectively.
"Points-wise it was a big day for us," Dixon said. "I thought when you get to that 100-point deficit - and we were pretty close to it after yesterday's result - it was going to be tough [to defend the title].
"But we almost halved that today. We'll keep working on that this week coming with Texas. Hopefully we can get on a bit of a roll here."
Emphasising his decision to focus on race wins over the championship bid, Dixon told Autosport: "With the competition right now, it's never one other driver you're fighting [for the championship].
"It's a constant five or six people. After Indy, it actually got really tight for the first five or six. Previous to Indy, it seemed like two or three had kind of stretched out.
"This year I think is going to be another year, especially from this point, you're going to have to be really consistent to get a championship. It's how we won last year.
"We did have three wins, but we were able to turn bad weekends into good ones.
"We've seen that from Josef [this year] - some pretty average qualifying positions but he and the team have been able to pull out some great podiums, some big wins when they really needed it."