Since the beginning of the 21st century, there
Dixon isn't that flashy and won't be the loudest voice in the room, but he has a quiet confidence and an unflappable determination to succeed. Over the years, he might have been lost in the shuffle of IndyCar attention with media and fans flocking to Dancing with the Stars winner Helio Castroneves, the Go Daddy girl Danica Patrick, and his own teammate Dario Franchitti, who happens to be married to Hollywood star Ashley Judd. Regardless of Dixon's popularity, he has always been there for Ganassi at the top of the driver's title race and will be competing in his 131st consecutive start this weekend in Edmonton.
Dixon's reliability and consistency has been a significant reason for his envious 12-year stay at Ganassi. IndyCar is not known for its long-term job security and stability, as championship-level drivers such as the 2003 CART Champion Paul Tracy, the 2004 and 2005 IRL IndyCar Champions Tony Kanaan, and the late Dan Wheldon, respectively, have had trouble finding jobs over the years. But Dixon understands his luck and is thankful every day. 'I'm very happy and lucky to have had a job and drive for a great team for so long, while other drivers have not,' said Dixon. He sees his team as a second family for the past 12 years and wouldn't have it any other way.
It's not just a healthy relationship and luck that has secured Dixon's career at Ganassi. He's earned it in every way possible. His statistics are hall-of-fame impressive (if there actually was one) as he sits 11th all-time in career victories with 28, one behind the legendary Rick Mears; has been on 68 podiums; and has won 18 poles.
The most impressive part is that Dixon is still only 31 years of age (he will be turning 32 this Sunday) and one again in the running to win the 2012 IndyCar Series title. Heading into the Edmonton Indy, Dixon sits fourth in the driver's standings with 281 points, trailing Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay by 54 points. The points difference seems large, but with five races to go anything can still happen.
The gap in points doesn't show Dixon's exceptional performances in 2012 and without a few mechanical mishaps in Long Beach and Toronto, Dixon could be leading the way for his third Indy car driver's title. If you look deeper into the numbers, you will see that Dixon has led the most races of any other driver in 2012 with seven, and has by far led the most laps throughout the campaign with 405 to the next-best Team Penske's Castroneves with 241.
Dixon recognizes that a lot of the top drivers have had similar unlucky breaks and knows in order to win this year's title he's got to go for wins over consistent finishes. He has to dominate like he did from start-to-finish at the faulty-track shortened Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in which he led every-single lap.
Over the last two seasons, Dixon has been overshadowed by his teammate Franchitti, who has won the last three IndyCar titles, totalling four in his career. It's difficult to overshadow Dixon, but he praises Franchitti's consistency, top-level driving abilities, and knack for always putting himself in a position to win. Dixon does agree that he's the front-runner for Ganassi this year and hopes all of his bad luck is in his rear-view mirror.
If there's ever a course to start that charge it would be at the Edmonton Indy held at the Edmonton City Centre Airport. Dixon has found his way on the podium in the last three out of four years with two victories coming in 2008 and 2010.
A focal point at the Edmonton Indy will be the re-installed overtake assist feature known as push-to-pass, which made its return in the last race at the Honda Indy Toronto. Push-to-pass provides each car with 100 seconds of turbocharger power boost at any point in the race with a press of a button. When asked about the feature, Dixon questions the timing of the decision to implement it after the half-way point of the season and preached a need for consistency. 'If my engine blows because its got more boost I would be pissed. They [IndyCar] didn't have to implement that and I'm sure the engine manufacturers didn't plan on having it for this season,' explains Dixon. However, he's quick to see the other side, and ultimately, he says, 'for fans it creates some excitement and we are here for a show, so on that side it's a good thing. It can be gimmicky, but you can understand what they are trying to do in today's economy.'
Dixon speaks his mind when it matters and the Ganassi-Dixon combination seems to be as strong as ever. Flashy, he's not, but the combination of skill, determination, and ice in your veins is a triple threat that very few have and every team dreams for. 'I hope to continue and stay with Ganassi as my career team. I'm not even thinking about retirement and I don't want to go anywhere else, Dixon explains, adding, 'I wouldn't change a thing.'
Tune in to TSN in Canada and the NBC Sports Network in the United States at 2pm EST to see if Scott Dixon can win his second race of the year and third in Edmonton to inch closer to Hunter-Reay and his third IndyCar title.