Scott Dixon may not be a household name given his quiet, unassuming nature. But, make no mistake, Dixon is one of the all-time greats in IndyCar and should gain more and more appreciation as his career winds down.
He’s tied with Al Unser Sr. for fourth in all-time wins at 39, trailing A.J. Foyt (67), Mario Andretti (52) and Michael Andretti (42). He has won four championships and an Indianapolis 500, in 2008.
There’s no question he’s among the living legends of open-wheel racing, even though he may not get the fanfare of some. But he’s easily the most accomplished driver in the field for Saturday’s Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, and will be looking to repeat his win a year ago.
“I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Scott come in here and win this thing again,” TMS president Eddie Gossage said. “He’s a good guy with unbelievable talent. And, if you want to run into him, just go to the Waffle House up the road. That’s his spot here.
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191.940 mph Average speed of last year’s Firestone 600, a track race record.
“You know, we think of Johnny Rutherford as a superstar and Scott has [12 more] wins. I don’t know if Scott is afforded that same type of respect and status of the fans, but he should be.”
Dixon, 35, isn’t begging for more attention. He knows the record books will show just how dominant and successful his racing career has become.
“When I was younger in the early part of my career, you didn’t look at it as much,” Dixon said. “I think as you get older and wiser, you understand how difficult it is to get each and every win. They all become special, especially in talking about the significance of a legacy and all things like that.
“I’m happy with the records that we’ve set and we’ve achieved a lot as a team. But you have to focus on the moment, and we just were in Detroit and now it’s on to Texas.”
97 Laps led by Scott Dixon in his victory last season at Texas.
Dixon is second in points, 80 back of Simon Pagenaud, and knows that Texas gives him an opportunity to close that gap as he seeks a consecutive series championship. He and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammates blitzed the TMS field a year ago, as Dixon won by more than seven seconds with only five drivers finishing on the lead lap.
“Our Ganassi team has always had fast cars at Texas, so we’ll be going in with confidence and looking to get good results,” Dixon said. “But it should be a closer race than last year. To be honest, we couldn’t figure out why other teams didn’t go all down force [as Ganassi did]. It would’ve been a tighter race. With the rules opening up even more this year, I think it’s going to be a lot tighter race.”
That would be good for the sport and TMS, which has been bogged down by less-than-stellar IndyCar races in recent years.
But there are drivers worth the price of admission, and Dixon may be at the top of the list, given what he’s accomplished throughout his career.
“He’s just very solid and consistent,” said Will Power, who won the 2014 IndyCar championship. “He always puts himself in good position. He knows the game so well now.”
7:45 p.m. Saturday, NBCSN