Pocono wins propels Dixon up another level
For an early birthday present, Scott Dixon wouldn't turn aside a victory - or two - in the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader this weekend.
|Scott Dixon gets quick work from his pit crew in Pocono|
Dixon, who turns 32 on July 22, earned his 30th Indy car win in the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco on July 7, which broke a tie with Rick Mears for 10th on the all-time list.
Next up is Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti and Sebastien Bourdais with 31 wins each, both of whom will compete on the streets of Exhibition Place in the twin 85-lap races.
"He deserves every one of his 30 wins. I've said it before; I think Scott, with his age, with how good he is, he can put up some really stout numbers going forward," said four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, who turned 40 on May 19.
"I'd like to win a couple here soon, stretch that a little again. I don't know a number but I can see Scott getting into the 40s going forward. He's got a few years on the clock yet, so I really think he can put big numbers up in terms of championships, race wins."
Dixon made his 212th Indy car start (149th in a row) at Pocono. He's been in a Target Chip Ganassi Racing car since the midway point of the 2002 CART season. Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Al Unser Jr. and Michael Andretti are some of the figures within reach.
"Stat stuff is great to look back on, but for me it's just trying to get the maximum that we can," said Dixon, who collected his fifth top-five finish of the season. "It would be great to look back and think that's a lot more than 30 or 31.
"Dario has been doing it a little bit longer, and hopefully I can continue a little bit longer. To be on the list of names that we are encroaching on is for myself and Dario and Bourdais very exciting. There are some massive legends out there, people I've looked up to my whole career, and to be on a list not far from them is pretty exciting."
Dixon, who won the IZOD IndyCar Series championship in 2003 and '08, jumped from seventh to fourth in the standings into title contention with the victory by 0.4572 of a second over Charlie Kimball in the 160-lap race on the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
He's 65 points behind Helio Castroneves with seven consecutive road/street course races directly ahead. That includes the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where he's won the past two years. Also, both races in Toronto pay full points.
"I hope that at Mid-Ohio we have our typical tendency to do well there," Dixon said. "Toronto also is going to create some great racing. I wish we started the year a little more positive and we wouldn't have to work so hard in the summer months. But I think that we have a lot of good racetracks coming up."