Is this the year Ganassi gets back to victory lane for the Indianapolis 500? Does Dixon need another Indy 500 crown?

Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the most prestigious teams to ever compete in the NTT IndyCar Series. CGR boasts 12 series championships, all since 1996. They also have 112 trips to victory lane including four of which in the Indianapolis 500.

But, despite seven titles in the last 12 years, CGR hasn’t won the ‘500 since 2013. Yes, they’ve won 22 times over the last eight years, but none of them have come at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Does that change for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 (1 p.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network)?

_16C2237-1Scott Dixon leads a group of cars during practice for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 – INDYCAR Media Site

It’s not like they haven’t competed very well lately. Scott Dixon has three top eight finishes in his last five tries. The No. 10 Honda will have its third driver in it over the last four years, but even that car has been strong.

They just haven’t won the thing.

That’s not a byproduct of them being off their game at Indy, it’s just that this race has seen so much parity lately. There’s been nine straight different winners in this race and 13 in the last 16 years.

Dixon, has won just once though (2008). Does he need another Indy 500 win to cement his legacy?

Only AJ Foyt has more championships than Dixon now. Foyt has seven, Dixon has five. Only Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52) have more overall race victories in the series than Dixon’s 49. Only Andretti has as many runner-up finishes, 56-47, than Dixon. Just Andretti (144) and Foyt (119) have more podiums than Dixon’s 119.

In top five finishes, Andretti has 194, Dixon has 170. The next best is Foyt with 149.

Is it fair to compare Dixon to Andretti in this race?

Andretti, was close so many times but only had that one ‘500 triumph 51 years ago this year in 1969. But, he’s regarded as one of the best there ever was to race an open wheel machine because of those stats above.

Will Dixon be mentioned closer to Andretti than that of Foyt?

“I don’t think this place owes me anything,” said Dixon. “We’ve had the car to win some, but hey, if we didn’t get it right we didn’t get it right. We didn’t deserve it. I know there’s a couple where we thought we’ve had a good run at it but it didn’t happen. I feel very fortunate to have raced here. It’s the same goal for everybody. Unfortunately, there’s 32 others that want the same thing.”

Foyt, has four Indy 500 wins. Tied for most ever. I don’t think it’s a secret that Dixon is the best of this generation and that his name is mentioned in the same breath as Foyt and Andretti. But, what would another Indy 500 win do for him?

Since his lone ‘500 victory, Dixon has seven top eight finishes in 11 tries. So, it’s not like this race is one that’s escaped him too far. While he says he’s had a “very average” month, his car is really good in race trim and think he can be in the top five when it’s all said and done.

Dixon, won the only other race on a superspeedway this year at Texas, so he has shown some better pace on these bigger tracks.

What about his teammate Felix Rosenqvist? He was the second best car at Texas and has shown vast improvement on ovals thus far.

Plus, this No. 10 car has actually been really good at Indy. Ganassi won three Indy 500’s in a five year span between 2008 and 2012 but this entry won two of those.

From 2009 on, Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan led a ton of laps in this ride in the ‘500. This car has led at least one lap in nine of the last 11 Indy 500’s. While Ed Jones failed to lead a lap in 2018, the only other times this ride wasn’t out front for at least one lap in the ‘500 was in 2013.

Between Dario and TK, the No. 10 ride had five top seven finishes between 2009 and 2018.

Marcus Ericsson takes over the third car and has a top 10 finish in all but two races run this year.

This could be the time that Ganassi is drinking the milk again. They’ve already won four races this year.

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