INDIANAPOLIS – Scott Dixon always says, he doesn’t get too high on the high’s or too low on the lows in the NTT IndyCar Series. The reason? Everything always evens out. See, when he had good cars but didn’t get the finishes that he wanted earlier this season, he knew that there’d be races that he didn’t necessarily have a great car but would come away with finishes he didn’t deserve too.
Look no further than what just happened at Iowa during the wee hours of Sunday morning. Dixon, was a 15th to 18th place car. They kept tinkering with his No. 9 Honda and nothing worked. He just didn’t have it.
But, when it was all said and done, despite being a couple of laps down and in 18th place at one point, there Dixon was finishing runner-up. How?
Scott Dixon at the Iowa Speedway last weekend – INDYCAR Media Site
Dixon stayed out and ran a longer stint on the final one and was benefited by an Ed Carpenter crash in Turn 2. At the time, there were only nine cars on the lead lap. Plus, Dixon would get fresh tires, 15 laps newer to be exact, than the contenders in front of him.
On the final restart, up Dixon went. He climbed to a runner-up for the second straight weekend. Now, can he close this three week string of races with another top two? Mid-Ohio is the place for it to happen.
Dixon, has five wins on the Ohio road course but none since 2014. He’s been just pedestrian since with two top fives but none of which resulting in a podium. I think that changes on Sunday.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has scored more points on natural road courses in 2019 than anyone else. He’s finished runner-up on two of these tracks too to go along with a fifth place run in the last race on one of these types of circuits at Road America.
If Dixon can, he’d be shooting up the ranks.
Scott Dixon races around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2018 – INDYCAR Media Site
His last two second place finishes in consecutive weekends give him 45 for his career. Only Mario Andretti (56) has more runner-ups in Indy Car. But, combine his 45 second place finishes with his 45 wins and you get 90 top two finishes in 316 Indy Car races. That’s 28-percent of the time, he’s finishing either first or second.
Andretti, has 108 top two finishes but he also made 407 starts. That’s a 27-percent mark.
Foyt, has 97 top two finishes in 369 starts (26-percent).
Bobby Unser had 65 in 259 tries (25%).
Rick Mears had 51 in 202 starts (25%).
Michael Andretti has 76 in 317 starts (24%).
Bobby Rahal had 61 in 264 starts (23%).
Dario Franchitti had 60 in 265 starts (23%).
Al Unser had 70 in 320 tries (22%).
Helio Castroneves had 71 in 346 starts (21%).
Al Unser Jr. had 64 in 329 career starts (19%).
Paul Tracy had 53 in 281 starts (19%).
Gordon Johncock had 50 in 261 starts (19%).
Also, Dixon now has 112 podiums in his career, seven shy of tying Foyt for second all-time and 32 behind Andretti. His 162 top five finishes trails Andretti by just 32 there as well.
Translation? Dixon is soon to be the best there ever was.
162 top five finishes in 316 races is absurd. That’s over half of his starts.
Andretti’s 194 is a 48-percent rate.
Michael Andretti is a 44-percent rate (139 of 317).
Unser Sr’s 140 top fives is a 44-percent rate.
Unser Jr. also has 141 but in nearly 20 less starts (43%).
Castroneves’ 141 is a 41-percent rate.
Foyt’s 149 is a 40-percent rate.
So, as we head to Mid-Ohio, Dixon is not only chasing a championship, he’s chasing the record book too.