'Ice Man' Dixon Gets the Milk Scott Dixon, known as the "Ice Man" for his cool demeanor, became the "Milk Man" Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver featured throughout the 92nd running of the ...
'Ice Man' Dixon Gets the Milk
Scott Dixon, known as the "Ice Man" for his cool demeanor, became the "Milk Man" Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver featured throughout the 92nd running of the famed 500-mile race, and then held off the final-lap efforts of Vitor Meira and Marco Andretti to score his first "500" victory.
The 2003 IndyCar Series champion was one of the primary contenders all month, qualifying on the pole, taking the initial lead at the green flag and leading 115 of today's 200-lap race. But he faced a stern challenge in the last 40 laps from Meira and later, Andretti.
Meira, who led nine laps just prior to the final round of pit stops, lost the lead to Dixon during the last stop. But he gave his all in pursuit of the victor, visibly sliding his Panther Racing Honda through the corners and setting some of the fastest laps of the race during his chase, taking the checkers just 1.7 seconds behind Dixon.
Andretti was equally strong, but first had to deal with passing the Team Penske Honda of Helio Castroneves, which he accomplished on Lap 190. But the 10 remaining laps were not enough for the third-generation racer to close the gap to Dixon.
For the third consecutive season, Honda powered the entire 33-car starting field at Indy. And for the third year in a row -- and the only three times in Indianapolis 500 history -- there was not a single engine-related retirement in the event.
Other performances of note included Vision Racing's Ed Carpenter, who charged back after problems in the pits left him 16th to finish fifth; and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who crossed the line in sixth as the top rookie finisher after a long battle with fellow Indy 500 rookie Hideki Mutoh.
Erik Berkman (President, Honda Performance Development) on Honda powering the entire Indianapolis 500 starting field for the third consecutive year with 100 per cent reliability: "Our congratulations to Scott, Chip Ganassi and the entire Ganassi Racing organization for their outstanding victory today. This is a record-third consecutive Indy 500 to be run without a single Honda engine failure, and it is an outstanding testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team. It is an amazing achievement, and I would like to recognize the efforts of all the associates at Honda Performance Development and our technical partner Ilmor for their hard work, which led directly to today's success."
Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 1st, finished 1st, his first Indianapolis 500 victory and 12th career IndyCar win: "What a day! I just couldn't believe it. So many times in the past, we thought we'd had this race won, only for it to get away. This was a tough race, there were so many good cars out there: Vitor [Meira], TK [Tony Kanaan] and Marco [Andretti]. We seemed to have a good car, but maybe had just a bit too much drag in it. Still, I knew that if we could get a good jump on that last restart then we could win it. We just had to hold on to it and stay in front of those guys [Meira and Andretti]. With so many yellows, it was tough to get into a rhythm. I was trying to save fuel toward the end and I wanted to see how the car was in traffic. I want to thank everyone who came and everyone from Target Chip Ganassi Racing. This is just a great day."
Vitor Meira (#4 Panther Racing Honda) Started 8th, finished 2nd, also finished second to Dan Wheldon at Indianapolis in 2005: "We really, really prepared the car well and everything went according to plan. The last 10 laps, I said to myself 'I'm not lifting [off the throttle] any more, and that's what happened: I was flat out to the finish. The team gave me a great car and I drove it for all it was worth. Things just didn't quite go our way at the finish. But you know what? This is a very good result compared to all the trouble we had last year and we definitely want the 'Big 3' [Penske, Ganassi and Andretti Green] to know that Panther Racing is back. We're only going to get better from here."