Scott Dixon seeks to snap losing streak at Mid-Ohio course
LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — There is nobody better than Scott Dixon at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where The Iceman has a record six IndyCar victories and has only finished outside the top-10 twice in his career.
So he’s the favorite to win Sunday, right?
Well, not so fast.
Dixon is mired in one of the longest losing streaks of his career — 21 races and counting, dating to early last season — and he’s not won at Mid-Ohio since 2019. He’s also slipped a notch in the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup, which boasts reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou and current Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, who heads into Sunday’s race as the IndyCar points leader.
Palou is ranked fifth in the standings and Dixon, the six-time champion and most accomplished driver of his generation, is sixth and trying to get into the title fight.
“We need to — I guess that is the obvious answer,” Dixon said of jump-starting his season. “I was hoping that the Indy 500 was going to be that turn and kick that we needed. It’s been an interesting year, lots of ups and downs and some missed opportunities.”
Dixon was the class of the field in May at the Indianapolis 500 and was dominating the race until he was flagged for speeding on pit road. The ensuing penalty crippled his shot at the win.
As the New Zealander worked through the emotions of that defeat, his name suddenly surfaced in a blockbuster free agency rumor. Zak Brown, the head of McLaren Racing, has long coveted Dixon and word spread after Indianapolis that Brown was trying to lure Dixon away from Ganassi with the promise of a leadership role at Arrow McLaren SP.
Dixon, who turns 42 later this month and is the fourth oldest full-time IndyCar driver, said he has not talked with McLaren. It’s possible his management has fielded an offer, but Dixon is staying above the fray.
“A lot of people talk. I even got a few messages from people asking about the same thing,” Dixon said. “If people are having these conversations, I haven’t been a part of them. I love doing what I’m doing and being part of the team that I’m with. Who knows what comes in the future, but as of right now, I’m just focusing on this season. That’s all I’ve got to say. There’s really nothing to it.”
Dixon does have a career timeline he’d like to follow. His 51 career victories ranks third all-time, one win behind Mario Andretti for second, and he is one championship away from tying A.J. Foyt’s mark of seven.
“Honestly, I don’t see anything changing in what I’m doing currently for the next five years at least,” said Dixon, who enjoys the Ganassi lineup that also includes seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.
“I think that the balance as far as we’ve got there, I think, has worked really well, and I think if you look at how competitive the team has been, sure, there’s always areas that we can improve on, and trust me, we’re working as hard as possible to make that possible,” Dixon said. “I love the dynamic right now. It’s a lot of fun, it’s a great group and they’ve already achieved one goal this year and that’s to win the Indy 500. Hopefully we can capture that second goal of the championship.”