Leaving the INDYCAR Grand Prix a little over a month ago, everyone knew that Scott Dixon would likely be in the drivers seat for this year’s NTT IndyCar Series championship. By time we got to Road America in June, everyone was going to be far in his rear view mirror. Unfortunately, it’s been anything but lately.
See, the defending series champion was off to a sizzling start. The runner-up finish in the May 11 event was his third of the year already. He also had a third place run in Long Beach the race prior.
While Dixon wasn’t in the points lead, he was only six points out of it. His mid season surge hadn’t even happened yet and here he was knocking on the doorstep of the championship lead.
But, the luck has since changed – big time. In his last four starts on the season, Dixon has just one top 15 finish, a win in the second Duel in Detroit. Instead of being six points out, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver is now 89 points behind Josef Newgarden.
He’s lost 83 points over the last four races. That’s why he’s aiming to get back on track for Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America (12:30 p.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network).
See, while everyone else was resting for a much needed week off last week, Dixon was overseas racing. He was running in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the CGR IMSA program. He hopes that the endurace race would keep him fresh and give him a leg up on the competition for Sunday’s race around Elkhart Lake.
“We were fortunate enough to be racing last weekend at Le Mans when most others had an off weekend after Texas,” said Dixon ahead of this weekend’s race. “It will be good to be back in the PNC Bank car, though. We won at Road America in 2017 and have had strong cars there. It’s such a great track and one the drivers all love to compete at.
“We haven’t had the best luck or finishes over the past few rounds and now is the time for results. We’re at the halfway mark in the season and you really have to start collecting points to set up for the final races to have a shot at the championship. I think this weekend will be key for that reason.”
Dixon, led 13 laps but finish just 17th in the Indianapolis 500. He made a rare but costly mistake in the first race at Belle Isle when he crashed out and finished 22nd. It was Dixon’s first DNF in almost two years.
Then, two races later, he had his second DNF in three starts when he crashed with Colton Herta on Lap 228 at Texas. Dixon, finished 17th as a result giving him finishes of – 17th, 22nd, 1st and 17th respectively in his last four races.
Now, it’s time to make up ground. Dixon, has two straight podiums in Road America and two runner-up’s in three tries in 2019 on natural road courses. If he aims to get back into this points race, he needs to grab another podium in his No. 9 Honda this weekend.