For the second time this season, Scott Dixon is buried in the starting lineup.
The four-time IndyCar champion qualified 18th out of 24 for Sunday’s IndyCar Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and teammate Ed Jones will line up 15th.
“We weren’t too bad earlier this morning when it was cooler. We took a pretty hefty swing at it in qualifying but the car didn’t feel like it had any speed, it just sort of set on top off the track,”said Dixon, who started 17th at Phoenix but managed to finish fourth in the Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Bank Honda.
“That condition got worse when it got hotter and hotter, unfortunately.”
But it’s the continuation of a troubling trend for the perennial power in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Four races into the 2018 season, Chip Ganassi’s team has yet to lead a lap and has one podium (Jones at Long Beach) in a very perplexing start.
Dixon started ninth and overcame a penalty for unavoidable contact at St. Pete to take sixth before his rally at Phoenix. He qualified fourth at Long Beach and had a sure podium in his sights before an untimely caution relegated him to 11th. At Barber he was on a one-stop strategy and likely was headed for a podium before the rain intervened.
“We haven’t unloaded very good anywhere but we’ve raced well,” said one of the Ganassi mechanics. “We just missed badly today, but the good news is that we’ve got a couple guys who can race to the front.”
Even though the new aero kits have promoted lots of overtaking on street and road courses this season, Dixon has a long way to go and will be looking for some answers in Saturday morning’s warmup.
“We’ll get back to a setup we know and then try to take it from there,” he said.