By: Tanner Watkins
August 15, 2019 | 8:00 AM
In Scott Dixon’s five championship-winning seasons as an IndyCar driver, the New Zealand native has never won the title from fourth place with four races to go. With that in mind, a race at Pocono Raceway might be just what the doctor ordered as “Dixie” chases an incredible sixth championship.
Since the NTT IndyCar Series returned to the three-turn track in 2013, Dixon has been remarkable. In six starts, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver has one victory (2013) with two additional top-fives and an average finishing position of 5.0.
What is even more impressive is that Dixon has completed each of the possible 1,160 laps – not a small task given the treacherous nature of open-wheel speedway racing.
So as Dixon currently sits fourth in the 2019 championship chase – 62 points behind title leader Josef Newgarden – it is now or never for the 39-year-old driver. Entering the fourth-to-last race of the season, Dixon has won the championship from as far back as third place – but this year would set a new high water mark for the decorated driver if he was able to pull off another comeback.
In Dixon’s opinion, the only result this weekend that will get the job done is winning.
“Pocono is really fast and produces great Indy car racing. It’s such a unique challenge to get everything right,” said Dixon. “The team swept the podium in 2013 and that is a perfect example of things going your way here when you get everything right.
“It’s a long race and it’s now time to roll the dice and take chances. Race wins are all that matter at this stage in the season if you want to have a shot at defending this championship title. I hope we come ready to race in the PNC Bank car and fight for the win.”
Dixon has a strong track record of racing at the Tricky Triangle, but he is right – it will be a challenge to put it all together this weekend, and in a race where there are so many variables out of the driver’s control. Thankfully for the No. 9 team, they seem to be hitting their stride with three straight podium finishes and a win in the last race at Mid-Ohio.
History tells us that Dixon will be running at the finish come Sunday, and most likely, he will be among the front runners. But if the five-time champion is to change his nickname to “six-time,” another victory is almost necessary.
Header image by Matt Fraver/INDYCAR.