As weird as this sounds, it may be time for Scott Dixon to change up his approach to the final seven NTT IndyCar Series races of the season. See, Dixon has never been known to really go on a terror and stack win after win. It’s not his style. Dixon, sprinkles important wins when he needs them, but what he does best is rattles off top five after top five finish and forces his peers to make mistakes. When they crumble under pressure, Dixon just stays his course.
I mean think about it, Dixon won the 2018 series championship but didn’t reach victory lane in any of the final five races. But, as we sit here today, other than a win in Belle Isle 2, that’s the last time he’s reached victory lane.
Dixon, has 44 wins to his credit over the course of his storied career, but with the next race being in on Sunday in Toronto, he’s reached victory lane just once since. At the time last year, it was his third win in seven races. Other than winning three races in-a-row in 2013, that’s the best stretch of race wins for Dixon since 2008.
Since the start of the 2017 season, Dixon has just five victories. By comparison, Newgarden has doubled that with 10 trips to victory lane. Rossi, has won six times himself, four of which coming since the start of last season.
Dixon, has to change his driving style and aggression now. No longer can he afford to finish with just a solid top five. He has to win and has to do so in bunches.
If he wants to make up a 90+ point gap in seven races on drivers who rarely make mistakes, he has to win.
The stats are above for Newgarden and Rossi. They each have eight top five finishes this season. That’s 80-percent. If they continue that trend, they’ll finish in the top five in six of the last seven races. That means Dixon has to win at least four of these races in order to be in the hunt.
In Toronto, Dixon has been at his best though. The problem is, it’s typical Dixon on the street course. His win last year was his first podium since he swept both races at Toronto in 2013. Between though, he had five straight top 10 finishes, but just one was in the top five.
“Toronto is a really fun place to go,” said Dixon ahead of this weekend’s race. “To be at a racetrack downtown and on the water is really an unbelievable setting for us as drivers. The city has grown so much and it’s a great market for us. It’s really another classic street course which allows passing zones for the cars. The fans in Toronto – and Canada, in general – are very knowledgeable and you can see that passion come through on race weekends there. I hope we can have a big weekend with the PNC Bank No. 9 car.”
He can’t keep getting top 10 after top 10 or even top five after top five. He has to win.