Dixon makes history twice as he extends his IndyCar wins record

Saturday was already destined to be a landmark day for Scott Dixon, but he probably couldn’t have imagined after a first-lap crash at the Brickyard Grand Prix that he’d be standing in victory lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and racking up yet another accolade for his incredible career.

“It was crazy!” Dixon exclaimed after winning his 54th career IndyCar race shortly after the first lap in a multi-car crash involving himself, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Armstrong and Joseph Newgarden.

His short fight up to that point had gone well, he said. “I felt like I had a fantastic start. I think I got maybe five or six spots, then I got to seven and there was a little bit of support there, I just spun around.”

Comparisons to Danny Sullivan’s famous 1985 Indianapolis 500 victory inevitably abounded. “Now I can say I got a ‘spin and win’ at Indy, which is pretty cool,” Dixon said. “Huge credit to the team.”

It was a surprise to many that the 43-year-old, six-time champion had gone so long without a win this season.

“It’s been a strange year for us. I think we had a lot of chances in different matches. It just never really converts.”

Dixon eventually worked his way back into contention and held off pole winner Graham Rahal in the closing laps. “It was so much fun. Getting fuel mileage, sailing – and a fantastic pace,” Dixon said of his run to victory.

Advertisement | Become a supporter of RaceFans and go ad-free

“I think the only downside for me was pushing too hard in the last stint in the first three or four laps, which killed the tires a bit. For the rest of the race, we just kept a rhythm. It wasn’t that hard to get some long laps early in that last stint because I knew I was getting a new set of tires and I didn’t have to go that far. It kind of hurt us, but I guess he made it a bit of a show and a bit of a fight.”

Report: Dixon turns around but wins after resisting Rahal’s charge

“It feels good. It feels great to get this win,” Dixon remarked. “Feel bad for Graham. But that’s nice.”

Dixon made history even before his improbable comeback win on Saturday. At the drop of the green flag, Dixon started a record 319th consecutive IndyCar race, surpassing the previous mark of 318 consecutive starts set by Tony Kanaan.

After taking the checkered flag, Dixon extended his own personal record for consecutive race-winning seasons to 19 seasons – as well as the record for most race-winning seasons overall at 21. Will Power holds the second-longest streak of 16 consecutive winning seasons, although that streak is in jeopardy as it remains winless this year in its final three games.

“What a day to win,” thought Dixon.

Dixon’s last winless season in IndyCar came in 2004, during an unsuccessful defense of his first championship. Chip Ganassi Racing’s engine supplier at the time, Toyota, struggled after the series downsized the engine from 3.5 to three liters in that year’s Indianapolis 500.

Advertisement | Become a supporter of RaceFans and go ad-free

That year Dixon finished a season-best second at Phoenix before the new engine rules came into effect and never again reached the podium as he dropped to tenth in the championship standings.

That same year, Dixon also suffered injuries to his ankle, knee and wrist in a practice accident in Milwaukee that kept him out of games. It is the only time Dixon has failed to start a race in his 23-year career in American open-wheel racing, in one of the sport’s most dangerous eras.

And with four races remaining in the 2023 season, Dixon admitted he feared his winning streak was in jeopardy. “You always have doubts. That’s the unfortunate part of the business.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve had a win – probably over a year, since last year.”

The only other time Dixon failed to win an IndyCar race was in 2002, Dixon’s second season in CART. He began the season at PWR Championship Racing (formerly PacWest Racing), which lost several sponsors and was forced to release Dixon after three rounds. Ganassi placed Dixon in a third car for the remainder of the year, beginning a 22-year partnership between driver and team.

“Working with this group, it’s been amazing,” remarked Dixon of his partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing. “Chip steers the ship, man, and he steers it well. It’s nice to be here.”

He moved into second place in the IndyCar standings with his victory and will now look to secure a 1-2 in the championship with teammate Alex Palou on track for a second-tier championship of his own.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Dixon added: “We’re going to keep going, try and win [number] 320.”

Advertisement | Become a supporter of RaceFans and go ad-free


Browse all IndyCar articles

#Dixon #history #extends #IndyCar #wins #record

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *