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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

IndyCar race wins “really feel higher” as you become older, says Dixon

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Dixon, 43, scored a win meaning he’s taken a victory in every of the final 19 seasons of IndyCar competitors. He joined the sequence, in its CART incarnation, in 2001 and have become its youngest winner as a 20-year-old at Nazareth.

His solely winless seasons got here in 2002, when he first joined Chip Ganassi Racing in a 3rd automotive after PacWest Racing folded as a result of monetary points, and 2004 – when his Toyota engine was at an obstacle to Honda.

“Over time I feel these ones really feel higher,” he mentioned. “Possibly within the early components of your profession, you actually do not care an excessive amount of about wins. One other one will simply come alongside.

“I feel with how aggressive it’s, what these groups have gotten actually good at is masking all methods. The times of the place possibly us or a few others would go on an alternate technique, now you may need half the sector that will do it.

“Now I can say I received a spin and win at Indy, which is fairly cool. I do know it is on the highway course and would not rely, however I am going to nonetheless go along with that story!”

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Race begin

Photograph by: IndyCar Collection

Dixon was punted right into a spin by Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean at Flip 7 on the opening lap, as he checked as much as keep away from colliding team-mates Alex Palou and Marcus Armstrong.

When requested at what level he felt that he’d be capable to pull off a last-to-first end result, Dixon mentioned it was when erstwhile race dominator Graham Rahal did not make a web achieve on him within the center phases of the race.

“In all probability midway by the second-to-last stint on used tyres the place we had been sustaining a niche,” Dixon replied. “[Rahal] was behind me the place it pops up on my sprint that he is the subsequent automotive. We had a like a six-second lead. I saved taking a look at it, operating the lap occasions.

“He wasn’t gaining on us. That is loopy, this may truly work out.

“For me, the tempo was not too troublesome to get. However I feel we had been type of in a cheerful spot of getting to get gasoline mileage and in addition taking care of the tyres the place possibly a few of these guys pushed fairly exhausting early on as I did on my final stint.

“That was my first ‘a-ha’ second the place I am like we’re undoubtedly in a robust place right here to tug that off.”

Dixon solely certified in 15th place, which meant he had a number of contemporary alternates left for the race, and mentioned the staff was planning on operating a two-stop technique – which is actually what it then did after he removed the first tyres and topped off with gasoline on lap 5 below warning.

“I used to be truly shocked simply by the tempo that we had,” he admitted. “The automotive simply saved doing the identical lap occasions, mid-73s to 74-flats. The gasoline mileage, big credit score to Honda and HPD, it was remarkably simple to get.

“We had been going to type of strive the two-stop early anyway. I feel we had been planning to cease between lap 5 and 10 anyway, we type of wished to do away with the black [primary] tyre fairly rapidly. Hoping to have nice religion that the pink [alternate] was truly going to final, and it did.”

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