Dixon's crew wins pitstop competition
Scott Dixon hopes that winning the IZOD Indy 500 Pit Stop Competition could be a good omen for him.
Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, defeated Oriol Servia of Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the championship round. His pit crew received the $50,000 first prize for its speed and accuracy.
The winner of the competition has gone on to win the Indianapolis 500 six times, most recently with Team Penske's Helio Castroneves in 2009. It was the first-ever win for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the pit stop contest.
IZOD PIT STOP CHALLENGE WINNER'S PRESS CONFERENCE
Scott Dixon, Ricky Davis, Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew
Friday, May 25, 2012
MODERATOR: Well, we always make the point that it's often the driver who gets the accolades and a lot of people behind the scene. We still put you front and center because this is the No. 9. But, Scott, I think you would agree that this is the time when the star of the show are the people that are around you.
SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, absolutely. It's nice to have days like this and moments for the guys because, you know, they are forgotten sometimes but prepare harder than all of us. So they've worked hard, extremely hard over the winter. There's been a few change-ups and things like that, but today was flawless. They didn't make a mistake. I think there was some points that, especially on the right lane it wasn't as quick, but they were able to make up the time. It's not about me; it's about them today. That's what it's really about. I'm so proud of these guys. I've been with a lot of these guys for many years. To actually win it, we've never done it, and I think it's a huge achievement right at the top with a lot of things we do and get to take credit for. I'm so happy for them, and it's a big day.
MODERATOR: Ricky Davis, very important part of the team here. You know, there's lots of people that want to be involved in racing, they see the glamour side of it and you get the crew shirts and people look at you, but they don't see what happens seven days a week on the road, working on cars after they've been mangled a little bit. It is a hard, hard job.
RICKY DAVIS: It is.
MODERATOR: It's an opportunity for them.
DAVIS: Like Scott said, it's an amazing feeling. I just told the guys on the ride up here I've been trying to win this competition for over 20 years. Though I wasn't over the wall today, I work with these guys every day. They have to put up with me. They do some of the most ridiculous things I ask them to do. They've busted their butts. They've done everything I've asked them to do, and I'm as proud as if I was going over the wall. I can't be happier. These guys behind me, these are the guys who get all the credit for what they did out there today. They were fantastic. To get to the finals is something, but then to watch the guys make up the time in the pit box and get our car out front, I was as happy as if I was going over the wall. And these are the guys right here that did it.
MODERATOR: I'm going to do something which I know some of these guys are going to inherently hate, but I'm going to do it anyway. I'm going to start here and hand the microphone, and just give them your name and your hometown. It's harmless.
TONY BAGIENSKI: Tony Bagienski, Anderson, Indiana.
ANDY SCHNEIDER: Andy Schneider, Huron, South Dakota.
ADAM ROVAZZINI: Adam Rovazzini, Indianapolis, Indiana.
BLAIR JULIAN: Blair Julian, New Plymouth, New Zealand.
TYLER REES: Tyler Rees, Brownsburg, Indiana.
GREG SHUKER: Greg Shuker, Morton, Pennsylvania.
TODD DeNEVE: Todd DeNeve, New Castle, Indiana.
MODERATOR: Let's have some questions for the guys and the crew or I'm going to unleash on them just a little bit. Any particular questions from the group?
Q: So is this a day that you guys have like marked on your calendar every year? Is this a really intense kind of competition that you guys train for and look forward to or is it more just kind of a fun thing to do before the big day on Sunday?
DAVIS: Yes, it is. It seriously is. (Laughter) When you look forward to it every year, we've come here so many years, disappointed how we did in the competition and we try harder and we work harder. When it's here, we're ready. And we have fun with it. The most important thing to do is enjoy it but keep your head about yourself. Today showed why we do it and why we'll continue to try as hard as we do. But, yes, we look forward to it every year. It's a day we hate, it's a day we love, but today we really love it.
MODERATOR: Scott, you depend on these people, obviously, and so meaningful ways and deep ways to get into victory. I know every driver who's ever been in here has desperately wanted this for his team.
DIXON: Yeah, absolutely. You know, you win and lose as a team. It's really a team effort. That's the thing I probably dislike the most, is that the drivers get to take the credit because they take it across the line, but that's just a little bit of the effort that goes in. These guys especially this year with the engine development and the new cars, they've just been working nonstop. Days like this make a big difference. Makes a big difference in team morale and how everybody feels and, you know, I go out there sometimes and wreck a car, and they have to fix it. Sometimes it just snowballs. So it's all about them, and that's the biggest thing for me and just so proud of them and so happy to be a part of the team. But I think for all of us, it's such a cool thing to win. It's not too many people, especially with Penske taking up the last six or seven years in a row. So to knock Will (Power) out I think was a good part, I think everybody was probably most proud about that. But you've got to hand it to Dreyer & Reinbold, too, they did the little team that could today and they were definitely giving it a fair fight. But super-proud of the guys and thank you guys so much. It's been pretty cool today.
MODERATOR: We understand you've got a meeting to go to. Thank you for coming in and congratulations to all of you.