Why Scott Dixon’s IndyCar rivals should be worried

Scott Dixon has a habit of making late championship runs in IndyCars.

Darron Cummings / AP

Scott Dixon has a habit of making late championship runs in IndyCars.

Scott Dixon is hoping his habitual late season form can propel him towards another IndyCars title.

After a quiet mid-season period, Scott McLaughlin pips Scott Dixon for podium spot in IndyCars thriller

* Scott Dixon fifth, Scott McLaughlin 22nd as Josef Newgarden wins IndyCar race in Iowa

* IndyCar star Scott McLaughlin backing petition to have Pukekohe circuit scanned for virtual racing

“> Dixon is back in the groove and has moved into a tie with American Josef Newgarden for third place on the championship points standings, each trailing Swede Marcus Ericsson by 34 points with five races remaining.

Australian Will Power is eight points behind Ericsson in second place as the series continues on the Indianapolis road course this weekend.

In a tight championship race, Kiwi veteran Dixon will have his rivals watching him anxiously. Dixon’s six titles – second only to AJ Foyt’s seven – have often come through performing when the pressure is most intense late in the season.

READ MORE:
* Scott McLaughlin pips Scott Dixon for podium spot in IndyCars thriller
* Scott Dixon fifth, Scott McLaughlin 22nd as Josef Newgarden wins IndyCar race in Iowa
* IndyCar star Scott McLaughlin backing petition to have Pukekohe circuit scanned for virtual racing

IndyCar.com noted that the 42-year-old Dixon has been the best season closer of his generation, with 30 of his 52 race wins coming after the calendar turned to July. One of those wins was in Toronto on July 17, and he followed that with top-five finishes in Iowa last weekend.

Dixon has building form and everyone knows it. He’s at a loss to explain it, but he’ll happily take it.

Scott Dixon is hoping his costly pit lane problems at the Indy 500 don't come back to haunt him.

Michael Conroy / AP

Scott Dixon is hoping his costly pit lane problems at the Indy 500 don’t come back to haunt him.

“There’s no real reason why it does what it does, but it does, and it’s great how it turns out,” he said.

He’s taking a simple formula into this crucial phase.

“I feel like each weekend now you solely focus on that weekend,” he said, believing the scene had got more competitive with every year ..

“I think it’s very hard to pace it out these days and say take six races and average a certain (finishing number). In the past, maybe you could focus on this (opponent) or that one, but those days are gone. Look at this year with how close it is between the top six. It’s spread quite wide. “

Dixon still laments his costly pit lane mistake while leading the Indy 500 and hopes that doesn’t come back to haunt him in the final standings. He knows it has put him into this desperate chasing position for now.

“If you look at the last two seasons, if I finish in the top three at the ‘500’ you’re talking about a different (point total). Finishing 21st as I did this year (due to that late-race pit road speeding penalty), I think I lost 70-something points to my teammate (actually 76). Marcus is only 34 ahead of us now. If I’d have had a top-three finish we’d be leading the championship now. But that’s couldas, shouldas and maybes, and those don’t count.

“Look, Indy is a big deal for many reasons, but for the championship it’s double points and that’s really huge. With how competitive it is now if you have a big (mistake), man, it crushes you.

“We just want to keep working hard,” Dixon said. “That’s all we can do.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.