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IndyCar Indy 500

Dixon happy to be at Indy after “pretty horrendous” start to season

Scott Dixon admits he’s relieved to be focusing on the Indianapolis 500 after a very difficult opening five races of the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

The six-time champion clocked second fastest speed in second practice and was fastest in the morning session, on Day 1 of practice for the Indy 500. He also saw all four of his teammates finish the day in the top 10, suggesting the Chip Ganassi Racing-Hondas are strong.

“We've always got more stuff to test than actual getting on the car and running it,” he said at day’s end, “but the good thing is with five strong cars, we've been able to move through it pretty quickly. Some are ‘driver feel’, so you want to check them yourself just to make sure it's how you would like it.

“I think as the week progresses, we'll get through the meat of it, and I think for all of us it's really about running in traffic, as we saw the majority of people do today. Last year it was interesting to see when people switched to qual trims – like we had a lot on Thursday, which was kind of bizarre, so we'll keep an eye on that.

“Yeah, the car feels strong, but always room to improve.” He later added: “Nice to shift gears here at the Speedway, and I expect that to continue once we leave here, as well.”

Quizzed about his season so far, Dixon admitted he’s disappointed. He lies fifth in the championship, only 34 points off the lead, but has yet to finish higher than fifth in a race.

“It's been pretty horrendous, I think, in some circumstances,” said the 41-year-old New Zealander. “Honestly some were pretty big mistakes that we did as a group that should have never happened. That's probably two of them.

"And then I think we got into a bit of a weird snowball effect here on the road course [last weekend]. Honestly, we just changed way too much stuff, and when you do that, you just miss the balance, and with how tight the competition is right now, then you're going to be out to lunch – and we definitely were.

“I think the cars race really well. We've had really strong races when you look at the competition of the field. It's just really been the qualifying effort where we've either made mistakes or got ourselves into a bit of trouble.”

Asked what the remedy might be, Dixon said: “I think we just kind of need to reset, calm down and get back to it. I think the road course tire for me has been sensitive at many tracks in the past couple of years, especially once we put the canopy [aeroscreen] on the car. My driving style is not… I don't know, I just find it a bit trickier than maybe some of the others.”

 

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