Dixon: “We will never give up as a team until it's over"

Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda’s Scott Dixon has pledged to give his all in IndyCar’s championship finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca as he chases his record-equaling seventh title.

Dixon: “We will never give up as a team until it's over"
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Although he lost ground on long-time rival, Team Penske’s Will Power in the points race by finishing right behind him in the Grand Prix of Portland, Dixon has overcome theoretically bigger points deficits with one round to go and claimed the championship. Although the 2015 finale at Sonoma Raceway was worth double points, Dixon was still a daunting 47 points down on leader Juan Pablo Montoya heading into that weekend, yet emerged triumphant on a tie-break after he clinched victory and the Penske driver could finish only sixth.

After the 2022 season’s penultimate round in Portland, Dixon was still frustrated by a poor qualifying session that left him starting 16th.

“We gotta stop getting these 'most improved' [stats] during these races,” he told NBC, in reference to IndyCar highlighting who finishes with the most places gained up from grid position. “It's definitely frustrating.

“In qualifying, we don't know what happened. We were super-quick on blacks and couldn't even convert [on reds]. Starting 16th, with the competition we have now, and no real cautions, we had to drive through the field.”

Dixon – and the Ganassi team – were flawless in their climb through to sixth, and then during the race’s only restart, Dixon pounced on the dueling Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi to claim fourth at Turn 1. Exiting Turn 3 he had a significant momentum advantage on Pato O’Ward who had just tried and failed to pass Power, and when the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet driver moved hard right to block him on the run down to Turn 4, IndyCar stewards ordered O’Ward to give up his position.

Finishing third behind Scott McLaughlin and Will Power, Dixon is now 20 points adrift heading into the finale, but said neither he nor the #9 CGR team is going to give up their pursuit of the championship.

"We're still in the fight, 20 points back tied with Josef,” said Dixon, “so it was definitely an interesting race. We tried as hard as we could.

“Anything is possible now, we've won on tie-breakers before, we are in it and we will never give up as a team until it's over."

Should he clinch the championship at Laguna Seca, Dixon will match AJ Foyt’s all-time record of seven Indy car titles.

Ganassi teammate and 2021 champion Alex Palou can no longer retain the championship after a subdued run to 12th in Portland with an ill-handling car, while Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson is now 39 points from Power after taking 11th.

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