Back in 1999, Scott Dixon took the pole at the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in his career, and stayed there for the entire race. In fact, he set a record of still being there at the end of the race. After the race, Scott Dixon said, “I knew when I crossed the line that I was still in the pole position, but I didn’t know if I was going to stay there or not.” But he did, and he did it again in 2001, 2002, and 2003, as well.
The Indianapolis 500 is the most famous and prestigious race in the world. And to win the race, it takes more than just speed, it takes determination, luck, and a whole lot of skill. The “500” refers to the number of laps it takes for the race to finish. Achieving the pole position is the best way for an IndyCar driver to secure a front row start, but it takes more than that to win the race.
The Indianapolis 500 is an event so well-known that it’s become an unofficial rite of spring. But what’s the secret to winning it – and, most importantly, a second one? Only the best get a second chance to win, but Scott Dixon hasn’t given up on his goal of a second Indy 500 victory. In fact, he’s still very much on the hunt for that elusive second win, saying he’s not even sure if he’ll be driving in the race this year.. Read more about indianapolis 500 and let us know what you think.INDIANAPOLIS – In May, Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway resembles the cafeteria of the world’s coolest school, a sociological hierarchy evident to anyone lucky enough to walk through this hallowed motorsports venue.
The newcomers – or in this case, the recruits – travel in groups, take what is asked of them, are bewildered and, for the most part, just happy to be there. The seniors look like revelers, constantly hanging out at the entrance to their garage, laughing at every joke and waiting for the next appropriate moment.
But it is the elders, the living legends, who are the easiest to recognize and the hardest to reach, because they are always in the crowd, constantly surrounded by admirers and followers. A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, and even the humble Rick Mears – the kings of Indy racing – all think they are the godfathers they are. The people closest to them do so by invitation only. This is the coolest of all kids’ desks. To get the rider. Why don’t you come over here and talk to me? A.J.’s, Mario’s or Rocket Rick’s moves should be anointed with this freshness. This is the validation of one of them.
Scott Dixon should no longer sit with the legends. He has his own throne. This brings us to the beauty of this man and this runner, the strength that still drives him to push the limits of what is possible, even at a stage in his life when he could be resting on his laurels and retiring.
He still doesn’t think he’s worth it.
To be mentioned in the same sentence as these guys is just crazy, said Dixon, 40, the day after winning his fourth Indy 500 pole with a four-lap average of 231.685 mph, 030 mph ahead of young Colton Hurt. I’m at a race or in the paddock and AJ, Mario or Rick call me to talk and I instinctively do what you do when you look around and behind you: Oh, is he really talking to me? Do they know I’m just Scott Dixon?
He stopped being Scott Dixon in 2003, when he arrived at Speedway, Indiana, as one of those Indy 500 newbies with a big look, a quiet New Zealander who tried out at Formula One teams but couldn’t find a job and signed up for an American open-wheel race. He won a Champ Car race, a fuel strategy victory for PacWest – a team that soon went bankrupt – at Nazareth Speedway, a track that was about to be closed, and an IndyCar race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That’s it. He finished 13th in his first race in Indianapolis. Nobody in the 500 Club invited this guy to the center tables.
What makes Scott so great is that in many ways he still considers himself that man, even now, Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Tony Kanaan said Thursday. But what he has done is become one of the best he has ever been.
Kanaan, winner of 17 IndyCar races, including the 2013 Indy 500, smiles broadly. I think sometimes we have to try too hard to remind Scott.
In the 18 years since his Indy 500 debut, Dixon has won 49 more times, including the biggest showing in racing in 2008. His 51 wins on open wheels ranks third behind Voigt’s 67 and Andretti’s 52. He has won at least one race in 19 consecutive seasons, breaking Voigt’s record of 18. He added six IndyCar titles, one less than Foyt’s record, which many thought was unattainable.
A victory at 105. Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 would give Andretti the most wins in his IndyCar career and make Dixon, who already leads the 2021 championship in points, the favorite to share championship points with Foyt. He will start this effort from pole position, his fourth, which allowed Voigt and three others to finish second overall, two behind Mears’ sixth. If he leads 82 laps on Sunday, he’ll pass Al Unser Sr. and become the Indy 500’s record holder (644 laps). It’s quite possible. He drove 111 laps in the 2020 race, passing Andretti (556) and Voigt (555) on that list.
Dixon has reached a point in his career where every statistic he accumulates means another climb to another page of the IndyCar record book. But with all the double and triple digits he can hit, it’s the low ones that many believe make him a true Indianapolis demigod.
Scott Dixon has only milked the winner’s circle once in the Indy 500, in 2008, and finished second three times. Robert Laberge/Getty Images
That would be number two. As finally join the ranks of multiple Indy 500 champions with an elusive second win, in addition to his only victory in 2008.
Yeah, you just gotta win, that’s what they say, right buddy? Let me tell you something about this race track. This place owes me nothing. It doesn’t owe anything to anyone. So I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m grateful every time I walk under the gas station sign. Just as I will be grateful on Sunday.
To others, these statements may seem boring. But everything Dixon says is too sincere to be considered sportsmanship. When he says Indianapolis Motor Speedway owes him nothing, that’s exactly what he means, whether he’s talking about his near-fatal plane crash in 2017 or his three second-place finishes. His last was in the final race of the 500 on the 23rd. August 2020, where he dominated the pandemic and lack of fans (111 of 200 laps), but lost by a caution when race officials decided not to red flag with four laps to go, giving him the chance to pass the car of the race winner, Takuma Sato, who had run out of fuel.
In fact, his three second places came under the creeping speed of the yellow flag, which prohibited overtaking. And all three times, Dixon stood in pit lane and took his pictures for the TV cameras, as courteous and generous as a man with a broken heart can be.
1. Scott Dixon, 231.685 mph
2. Colton Hurt, 231.655
3. Rinus VK, 231.511
4. Ed Carpenter, 231.504
5. Tony Kanaan, 231.032
6. Alex Palow, 230.616
7. Ryan Hunter-Ree, 230.499
8. Helio Castroneves, 230.355
9. Markus Ericsson, 230.318
10. Alexander Rossi, 231,046
11. Ed Jones, 231.044
12. Pato O’Ward, 230.864
13. Pietro Fittipaldi, 230.846
14. Felix Rosenquist, 230.744
15. Takuma Sato, 230.708
16. James Hinchcliffe, 230.563
17. Scott McLaughlin, 230.557
18. Graham Rahal, 230.521
19. Conor Daly, 230.427
20. Jack Harvey, 230,191
21. Joseph Newgarden, 230,071
22. JR Hildebrand, 229.980
23. Santino Ferrucci, 229.949
24. Juan Pablo Montoya, 229.891
25. Marco Andretti, 229.872
26. Simon Pagenaud, 229.778
27. Sébastien Bourdet, 229.744
28. Stephen Wilson, 229,714
29. Max Chilton, 229.417
30. Dalton Kellett, 228,323
31. Sage Karam, 229.156
32. Will Power, 228.876
33. Simone De Silvestro, 228,353.
I’m a what if? No, he said. But I wouldn’t be honest if I said I don’t play out all the scenarios in my head after each of these races, especially last year. But I can only take this as a learning experience and perhaps as motivation to sharpen our focus for the next race and the championship battle that follows.
For the record, he has already won the next race after losing the 500 last August, beating Sato at Gateway Motorsports Park, as he did in his second appearance in 2012 with a win at Belle Isle, and again against the man who beat him at Indy, Dario Franchitti. He couldn’t repeat his second place finish behind Franchitti in 2007 with a win the following week, but he did win the 500 a year later.
Then… – he sighed and smiled: That’s my positive attitude that I’m going to apply to finish second in Indianapolis and go under the yellow flag every time. Do you believe it?
No. Maybe. Who knows? But everyone believes in what is really Scott Dixon’s legacy in IndyCar, whether or not he wins a second silver face in the Borg-Warner Trophy. He is the greatest driver of his generation. Everyone agrees on that, including the greatest executives of previous generations.
Well, okay, almost all of them.
Dixon says no one races for stats or records. When we go out on the track under the green flag on Sunday, we all have the same goal. We want to win the greatest race in the world. Yeah, I did that once. But 2008 was a long time ago. All it did was make me want to win it again. And if I do it again, I just want to win a third time. When I am done, others will determine if I have succeeded in my career. For now, it’s up to me.
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