DIXON AIMS TO CARRY ON INDIANAPOLIS 500 TRADITION INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 26, 2008 -Scott Dixon has a few days to celebrate his 92nd Indianapolis 500 victory, and then he will get back to business - the business of winning the IndyCar Series...
DIXON AIMS TO CARRY ON INDIANAPOLIS 500 TRADITION
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 26, 2008 -Scott Dixon has a few days to celebrate his 92nd Indianapolis 500 victory, and then he will get back to business - the business of winning the IndyCar Series championship.
The 27-year-old, who won an IndyCar Series title in 2003, became the first native New Zealander to win the Indianapolis 500, leading 115 of 200 laps May 25. After drinking the milk in Victory Lane and posing for pictures with the Borg-Warner Trophy, Dixon hopes he can carry on another Indianapolis 500 tradition - winning the series title.
The past three Indianapolis 500 winners - Dan Wheldon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Dario Franchitti - all went on to win the IndyCar Series championship in the same season.
"We definitely knew that (tradition) because of last season," Dixon said on the morning after the biggest victory of his career. "And we were definitely trying to stop that tradition. Unfortunately, we came up short. This year, we won the 500, and it sounds like a pretty good tradition. We're going to try and carry that on, come away with the championship."
Dixon has been the most consistent performer in the IndyCar Series for most of the past two seasons. He began the 2007 season with three runner-up finishes, including Indianapolis, and three fourths. Following a 12th and 10th, he put on a second-half run that included four victories and three seconds. He was leading the final lap of the season finale at Chicagoland when he ran out of fuel, finishing second in the race and second in the championship.
"We had the dominance of winning three races in a row and going for four and trying to chase down Dario for the championship," Dixon said. "I think that's when it started. Everything that everybody was doing was just falling into the right place. Everybody was working well together, and we've carried on that confidence level and the success we had at the end of last year even though we didn't come away with the championship. I think that combination, with more determination after what happened, has been what's helped us this season."
Dixon has displayed the same consistency this year. His No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew found Victory Lane in the season opener at Homestead-Miami in March. Dixon started on the front row at Twin Ring Motegi and led 101 of 200 laps but finished third after a late pit stop for fuel. He won the pole at Kansas and led 145 of 200 laps and finished third again.
Now, he plans to carry the momentum from the last season-and-a-half past Indianapolis to a second series championship. He takes a 15-point lead over second-place Helio Castroneves to The Milwaukee Mile for the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 on June 1.
"We have another championship to win this year," Dixon said. "That is something we get on in Milwaukee. Having won a championship in 2003, that was a long time ago. So I need to get on my game and try and capture another championship for the team and everybody involved. That's exactly what they want to do. We're going to have great memories from this day, and we're going to treasure those for sure, but Thursday, Friday we're back on the game for the championship."
*** The 2008 IndyCar Series season continues with the ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 on June 1 at the Milwaukee Mile. The race will be telecast live in High Definition at 4 p.m. (EDT) by ABC. The race will air live on the IMS Radio Network. A Spanish-language telecast of the race will be carried by ESPNDeportes. The IMS Radio Network broadcast also is carried on XM Satellite Radio and www.indycar.com. The 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season continues with the Milwaukee 100 on June 1 at The Milwaukee Mile. The Firestone Freedom 100 will be telecast at 1 p.m. EDT May 31.