Defending NTT INDYCAR Series champion Scott Dixon admits he needs a run of top performances to have any shot at securing a sixth title this season. Sitting 98-points off long-time championship leader Josef Newgarden the Kiwi is under no illusions about the challenge he and his PNC Bank Ganassi Racing crew face.
“We need a big finish for the championship with five to go starting this weekend”, said Dixon ahead of the Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Dixon on Mid-Ohio: “our cars have a shot at winning”
A 5-time race winner at the 2.258-mile road course, Dixon is confident a late-season charge can begin with a strong result on Sunday. “Mid-Ohio is a place that we as a team have always felt that all of our cars have a shot at winning”, said the 39-year old.
Dixon and his Chip Ganassi team have enjoyed great success in the past at the track near Lexington, Ohio.
Wins in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014 have marked Dixon out as a master of the undulating road course. “It’s a track that really feels like home to me”, said Dixon.
The 45-time INDYCAR race winner thrives on the comprehensive challenge that is Mid-Ohio: “I’ve said over the years that it’s a rhythm track, and it’s very technical. You have to get a lot of things right to go to victory lane there.”
Confidence high for Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio despite recent form
Dixon’s affinity for the track was clear from his very first outing at the famous sports car course. A podium finish on his IndyLights circuit debut was an indicator of the success to come.
Wins and podiums have, however, proved a little harder to come by in recent years.
Though he has been a frequent visitor to the podium at Mid-Ohio, Dixon’s best finish in the past three seasons was a fifth place last year. That lack of recent form is not playing on the mind of the 5-time series champion or his PNC Bank Ganassi Racing crew: “There aren’t many tracks out there where your confidence level is that high as a team.”
On the subject of his chances this weekend, Dixon is cautiously optimistic: “Mid-Ohio would be a great place to start a run of strong results.”
Facing a 98-point deficit and Team Penske buoyed by a scintillating pace last weekend at Iowa Speedway, Dixon is certainly in need of one of his trademark late season pushes.
The Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio weekend starts with practice from 11.20am on Friday, 26 July 2019. Qualifying runs from 2.30pm on Saturday, 27 July with live coverage on NBCSN.
The green flag drops for the 90-lap Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio at 4.00pm on Sunday, 28 July. All times are local.