Power vs Dixon: A new twist to a familiar tale

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Power vs Dixon: A new twist to a familiar tale

IndyCar

Power vs Dixon: A new twist to a familiar tale

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The fight for the 2014 IndyCar Series championship was largely a duel between Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves, with the two trading the lead over the final rounds before Power took command with three races to go and beat the Brazilian by 62 points to the title.

Before Power’s first championship, he spent years chasing and falling short of beating Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti from 2009-11, and after the Scot’s retirement, Power was never particularly close to overcoming CGR’s Scott Dixon’s ensuing title years in 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2020.

All of that history has registered with Power, who leads the NTT IndyCar Series championship leading into Sunday’s title-deciding race. At 42, Dixon — the six-time champion who was born in Power’s native Australia and raised in New Zealand — has been the standard of excellence since Power arrived from the Champ Car series in 2008.

At 41, Power feels like he’s been chasing Dixon the entire time he’s been here, and for once, since Dixon wasn’t particularly close in that 2014 title scrap, he’s thankful to have a proper fight for the championship with teammate Josef Newgarden and Dixon tied for second, 20 points arrears.

“I think it’s great that Scott and I are right at the front,” Power told RACER. “It’s showing that age really doesn’t matter. I’m so excited to fight Dixon in the championship because it’s never happened. I’ve always wanted to go up against him, and I’m actually really happy that I get to battle him. For real. I’ve always wanted that.”

For his part, Dixon tilted his head, scrunched his brow, and admitted he wasn’t exactly sure what Power was referring to…

“That’s really cool that he feels that way, but man, I don’t know,” he said. “I always feel like I’m fighting with him for championships, so I guess this one never really jumped out to me as any different. But yeah, I guess from his perspective, since he’s been leading the championship, maybe it is different, but for me, I always see it as every year, with a couple of exceptions, it’s been a shootout with him and possibly one of his other teammates. So I don’t I don’t see it any different.”

There’s no shortage of admiration between the titans representing Penske and CGR.

“Scott, I have tremendous amount of respect for him,” Power said. “We’ve obviously raced together for a very long time. And obviously, he’s an absolute legend of this era of IndyCar racing. I’ve had a fantastic year and I’ve got a great group around me this year. It’s going to be an epic battle between not just us, but all the drivers trying to win this championship.”

“Will’s done a really good job this year,” Dixon added. “I think in keeping a calm head, and obviously everybody goes through their ups and downs, but even some of the races where he was coming from behind with an issue in qualifying and starting back in the field, he’s been so good, so consistent. Honestly for me, it’s been fun to watch.”

Of the five remaining championship rivals, three are from Down Under. Power hopes this unique IndyCar title showdown will resonate back home.

“A great thing about Scott McLaughlin coming over is he has a huge following down there in Australia and obviously in New Zealand,” he said. “But like my dad said, IndyCar, as far down in Australia, it’s a great hidden secret. It’s such a good series. To anyone who watches it, this is the best racing. I do hope a lot are watching us to see how it ends up.”

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