Dixon makes history twice as he extends his record run of IndyCar wins


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

“That was crazy!” exclaimed Dixon after he won his 54th career IndyCar race, just a short time after he was spun out on the first lap in a multi-car accident involving himself, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Armstrong, and Josef Newgarden.

His brief race until that point had gone well, he said. “I felt like I had a fantastic start. I think I picked up maybe five or six spots, then got to turn seven and there was a bit of a back-up there, just got 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,” said Dixon. “Huge credit to the team.”

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

“It’s been a strange year for us. I think we had lots of opportunities at different races. It’s just never really converted.”

Dixon eventually worked his way back into contention for the win and held off pole-winner Graham Rahal in the final laps. “It was so fun. Getting the fuel mileage, cruising along – and fantastic pace,” Dixon said of his run to victory.

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“I think the only downfall for me was pushing too hard on the last stint on the first three or four laps, which killed the tyres a bit. The rest of the race we just kind of maintained a pace. It wasn’t that difficult to get some big laps early on in that last stint, because I knew I was getting a fresh set of tyres, and didn’t have to go that long. Kind of hurt us, but I guess made it a bit of a show and a bit of a race.”

Report: Dixon spins but wins after resisting Rahal’s charge
“Feels good. Feels damn good to get this win,” Dixon remarked. “Feel sorry for Graham. But this is cool.”

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

After taking the chequered flag, Dixon extended his own personal record of consecutive seasons with a race win, which now stands at 19 seasons – as well as a record for the most seasons in total with a race victory, at 21. Will Power holds the second-longest streak of 16 consecutive winning seasons, though that run is in jeopardy as he remains win-less this year going into the final three races.

“What a day to win on,” Dixon reflected.

Dixon’s last win-less season in IndyCar came in 2004, during his unsuccessful defence of his first championship. Chip Ganassi Racing’s engine supplier at the time, Toyota, struggled mightily after the series reduced the engine displacement from 3.5 to three litres at that year’s Indianapolis 500.

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

The same year, Dixon also sustained injuries to his ankle, knee, and wrist in a practice crash at Milwaukee which kept him from racing. It is the only time that Dixon failed to start a race in his 23-year career in American open-wheel racing, during one of the most dangerous eras of the sport.

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

“It’s been a little 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 started 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 what is now a 22-year partnership between driver and team.

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

He moved into second in the IndyCar standings with his victory, and will now try and secure a 1-2 in the championship with team mate Alex Palou well on his way to a second series championship of his own.

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

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RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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10 comments on “Dixon makes history twice as he extends his record run of IndyCar wins”

  1. Pretty amazing how long Dixon’s been winning races!

    1. CD (@clipperdael)
      14th August 2023, 17:46

      And salvaging bad races too. He’s a master of recovering from an incident. Early in the race someone will spin him round battling for the top positions and he’ll fall down the standings but by the finish he’ll have somehow made it back up to like P5 again.

      That’s how you win championships, I guess.

      1. Hiw did he go on to win after the spin?

        1. If I remember correctly, he went for a different strategy and pitted 1 fewer time than everybody else at the top.
          Rahal was catching him up so quickly case he [Dixon] was on much older tyres.

          1. I think he did actually pit the same number of times as others, but his first stop was very early (like 5th lap) during the safety car. He was anyway at the back so it was a free stop. Then he drove to fuel mileage to only do two green flag stops.

          2. Thank you

          3. Thanks for the explanation satellite

  2. I remember watching Dixon win his first race in Nazareth on Eurosport. That was in 2001 when I was 19 years old. I’m now 40 years old and he’s still winning.

    The guy is an absolute machine, he is the T1000 of motorsport. Relentless.

  3. Dixon is one of my favorite IndyCar drivers.
    Knows how to drive a race car, with skills, and a great attitude.
    Jim Clark is the best driver and person who races, for me.
    Scott Dixon reminds me of Clark.

  4. And if it was not for the little mistake on Indy 500 last year (speeding at the pit lane), he would have won the race, and also the championship! Just see the number of points he did not score because of that! His numbers are absolutely amazing! 6 times series champion, 3 times runner up, 6 times 3rd place, 3 times 4th place. So, in 23 years of Indycar racing (counting CART years), I can say he was a title contender in 18 opportunities. Just unbelievable numbers.

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