Scott Dixon has all but has wrapped up his sixth career NTT IndyCar Series championship. All he really needs to do on Sunday is just maintain and get back into the top 10 and he moves to one title shy of tying AJ Foyt (7) for most all-time. He’d like to just win Sunday in St. Pete though and make this recent slide all for not.
That’s a place remarkably enough, Dixon has never won at.
Dixon, comes into the 2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, IndyCar Radio Network) 0-for-15 on the western Florida street circuit. For a driver that sits near the top of the all-time wins list, it’s rare that he’s made this many starts at one track and has never won.
He’s also never won at Iowa (0-for-15), Barber (0-for-10), Portland (0-for-4), Laguna Seca (0-for-3) and COTA (0-for-1). He did get to cross off winless tracks on the IMS road course (July 4) as he was 0-for-6 prior to this year and World Wide Technology Raceway (Aug. 29) with him being 0-for-4 on the St. Louis area oval prior to this season too. Barber, Portland, Laguna Seca and COTA were all canceled in 2020, so maybe this is his chance to cross off all but one track he’s never won at in a single season.
Meanwhile, Dixon has also won at 11 venues currently not on the schedule too: Motegi, Houston, Kansas, Edmonton, Homestead, Richmond, Nashville, Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Pikes Peak and Nazareth.
Is St. Pete though the one that’s puzzling that he’s never won at?
“No, they’re all tough,” said Dixon. “There’s quite a few others. I don’t know. I think we finished second there four times or something. I don’t know. I’ve led races there, checking out, hit the wall, done crazy stuff. We’ve been in similar situations with strategy where it’s been flipped as well.
“It’s tough, man. It’s tough to win. Place doesn’t owe us anything. We just got to work harder and try to eventually get to that top spot. Each year I swear just keeps getting more difficult.
“There’s never one thing. I think it’s constantly changing. Just keep our head down and keep working hard, man.”
Dixon, has been close in the past though. He’s finished runner-up four times on the 1.8-mile street circuit including just last year. He also has four straight top seven finishes in St. Pete to go along with two podiums in the last three years.
“For us, we try to typically keep it pretty simple,” said Dixon. “I would say that was not the case for the last few races, which got us into a bit of a tailspin. Josef and Team Penske, him and his teammates, have been doing a fantastic job.
“For us, it’s just to have a pretty simple weekend, try to keep it clean. Obviously the goal is to go for a win. That makes it a lot easier, then you don’t have to worry about any of the scenarios. As you mentioned, there’s many different scenarios. I think we’re still lucky to be in the situation that we are, the points lead that we do have.
“As we all know, that doesn’t guarantee you anything. NTT INDYCAR Series is renowned for throwing some curves in situations like this. It’s always exciting. We tried to stop it going down to the last race, as you mentioned, it was a 15-year run, but we came up short.
“Yeah, just looking forward to the weekend. Can’t wait to get to St. Pete. Looking forward to getting on a street course, we haven’t done one all year. Hopefully it goes well.”
Maybe Sunday will be different for Dixon.