(Indianapolis, IN) - Rookie sensation Scott Dixon, driver of the ...
(Indianapolis, IN) - Rookie sensation Scott Dixon, driver of the #18 Powerware Panasonic PacWest Toyota, wins his first ever Champ Car race after starting 23rd on the grid. He is the youngest driver to ever win a major racing series including CART, Winston Cup, IRL, and Formula One. The 20-year old New Zealander broke the late Greg Moore’s record who was 22-years old when he made it to the top of the podium for the first time.
Dixon is also the first rookie in CART history to win his first event on an oval track. Dixon's win from the 23rd starting position represented the second deepest on the starting grid a driver has ever come home with a victory. This is the fifth career win for PacWest Racing, and the first since Mark Blundell won at California Speedway in 1997.
After struggling in qualifying and feeling the absence of his teammate, Mauricio Gugelmin, Dixon drove a hard race, and with three quick pit stops and good race strategy, he was able to move to the front and capture the win.
"We're lucky we saved a lot of fuel early in the race so we could run full rich," said Dixon. "Our car was really strong on the exits of the corners and it was hard to know what to expect. We've had a lot of luck go our way this year and with Mauricio not being here it was very tough on the team. After qualifying so poorly yesterday, this really helped to bring me up. I don't know how this will affect the team, but I do know it's just the lift they've needed. For me, it really hasn't sunk in yet. I really wish my parents were here to celebrate with me, but they will be in Japan and hopefully I'll bring PacWest to the podium again and they will be there to celebrate with me."
"Obviously this has been a roller coaster weekend of emotions and challenges, but I couldn't be happier for the team," said owner, Bruce R. McCaw. "Scott drove a smart race and was absolutely flawless. On race day the crew put together a perfect strategy with three pits stops and remarkable engineering. Once we got into the race, we certainly knew we had a chance at winning. I especially want to thank Toyota: the engine was perfect in performance, drivability and efficiency. We look forward to having Mo back in the car at Japan and hopefully bring Toyota another podium in their home country."
PacWest doesn't have much time to celebrate. The team will head home this week in preparation for Round Five of the CART FedEx Series in Motegi, Japan.