Scott Dixon’s win in the first race of the Detroit Grand Prix drew him even with Michael Andretti for third on the IndyCar win list at 42 — and to do it, he had to hold off the Andretti Autosport trio of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti, who finished in the next three spots. It also marked the 14th consecutive season in which he’s won an Indy car race and 16th overall season with at least one win.
Having already cemented his place in IndyCar history during an 18-year career, he now trails only A.J. Foyt (67 wins) and Mario Andretti (52).
Still, the four-time series champion was relieved to clinch his first win since Elkhart Lake almost a calendar year ago.
“[A win’s] always nice,” said Dixon, whose last multi-win season came in 2016. “I think right now with the competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it’s just through the roof. If you look back a few years, you can sort of run off five or six victories in a season, and it seems those days are pretty much gone. But yeah, super proud of everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing, and obviously PNC Bank’s first victory.”
For the second straight week, one of IndyCar’s most endearing qualities — respect among its competitors — was on display. Last week, it was evident in the group of drivers who waited to congratulate Indy 500 winner Will Power on his celebration lap. This week was a celebration of Dixon’s longevity and impact on the sport.
“I think that Scott Dixon is synonymous with a lot of us as we respect him as probably not only as one of the best drivers in IndyCar history but also in the world,” said Alexander Rossi, who finished third on Saturday. “It’s a pleasure to race against him, and any day that you can beat him is a good day.”
Added second-place Ryan Hunter-Reay: “Scott is one of the best. It’s amazing, in this day and age in racing and how equally matched everything is, to be in that bracket of third overall. I mean, as long as they’ve been collecting these stats, there’s many years where certain drivers would have streaks where they’d win 10 races in a season or something like that, so it’s amazing that in this day and age that he’s able to continue to rack them up and be in that list.”
Hunter-Reay pointed to Dixon’s versatility across all types of tracks “no matter where you are.”
“I’ve been racing him since, what, ’07, so been sharing the track with him for a long time, and that’s why I said it’s amazing that he is in that company that he is in,” Hunter-Reay said. “He’s in a different time altogether than the company that he holds. It’s pretty unique. I think he deserves a lot more credit than he gets. Obviously you guys are giving it to him, but I’m sure 10 years after he retires, we’ll all make a lot bigger deal of it than we are now.”
Never one to boast, Dixon was appreciative of the praise.
“I think that level of respect is across the board. You know, I think — again, I feel very lucky to race all of these competitors. I think importantly for IndyCar right now, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of influx of rookies, too, and really damn fast rookies, and it’s good to see for the sport. Some different names coming in, which is good for the future.”
Dixon did admit the 50-win mark is in his sights.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “I’d like to have another 10 or 15, but you know, it’s definitely got tougher throughout these years, and there’s some really strong teams. There’s no little teams anymore, and even some of these teams who like to call themselves little teams, they’re not little teams. They’re very well funded and have very good engineering stuff and are able to pull off victories. It’s good for the health of the sport, and the problem right now is any team, any driver combination out there on the grid can win.”