Scott Dixon’s countryman and crew chief, Blair Julian, has been selected as the newest recipient of the Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award. Given each year at the Indianapolis 500, the award is named in honor of the legendary crew chief whose cars and drivers earned countless wins, including Mario Andretti at Indy in 1969.
For the New Zealander who oversees Dixon’s No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda and the renowned pit crew known as the ‘Wolf Pack,’ the Clint Brawner award was thoroughly unexpected.
“It was a big surprise; walking up there to the podium, I didn’t know what was going on,” Julian told RACER. “I’m very honored to receive it, and you immediately think about all your crew guys who put you in that position to be considered for an award like this. It’s nice to have everyone’s work on the No. 9 car recognized, and to be recognized individually.”
Julian takes pride in all his predecessors achieved at the Indy 500, especially during the eras that produced talents like Brawner.
“It’s cool to learn about the history of it, and love to understand the innovation they brought to the track, to have ideas and put them on the car and make it work,” he said. “It’s a little bit different these days with the rules and restrictions, but on the other side, getting all the little details right makes the difference. Having a good team around you makes it easier for Scott, or any of our drivers, to go out there and look good. I certainly don’t think of myself anywhere near like Clint Brawner, but it’s cool to be mentioned in the same breath.”