All Scott Dixon had to do for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Pete was to finish ninth or better and a sixth NTT IndyCar Series championship was his. 100 laps stood between he and his fourth championship in the last seven years.
That’s exactly what he did too.
Dixon, finished third in his No. 9 Honda to earn himself a sixth title. He’s now just one championship shy of tying AJ Foyt for most all-time.
Dixon, has quickly rose up the record books and with six championships now accumulated, there’s no reason to believe that he will be up there with the all-time greats as the best to ever drive an open wheel car.
Scott Dixon celebrates winning for the fourth time in his career at Texas
Dixon, has 50 wins to go along with those six titles. That’s two shy of Mario Andretti’s 52 for second most all-time. AJ Foyt’s 67 wins may be out of reach, but he can at the very least get to second. He’s also scored 48 runner-up finishes over the course of his career. Only Andretti (56) has more.
Combine those, Dixon has 98 top two finishes in INDYCAR history. Andretti has 108 but it took him 407 starts to do so. Sunday, was Dixon’s 335th career start. Foyt, has 97 career top two finishes but has done so in 369 starts.
As you can see, Dixon has a better percentage at 29-percent of all starts landing him a top two finish. Unser, has a 27-percent mark with Foyt holding a 26-percent rate. The next best is Bobby Unser (25%) with 65 top two finishes. The next most top two finishes overall? Michael Andretti with 76.
Dixon, is 22 clear of that and still has more years left in him.
Dixon also has 123 podiums, second most. Andretti has 144. In terms of top fives, Dixon has 174. Andretti has 194.
Top three in literally every major statistical category. Championships (2nd), wins (3rd), second place finishes (2nd), podiums (2nd) and top five’s (2nd).
You can’t discredit Dixon as a generational talent.
But, for him to close out the 2020 season with an Astor Cup championship trophy, it means a lot. It was one of those years to where it couldn’t have ended quick enough.
See, Dixon put this championship out of everyone’s misery early. He won each of the first three races of the season and had a top two in four of the first five races. He had six top two finishes in the first eight races run.
But, he slipped up from Aug. 30 on. His best finish was fifth until Sunday’s podium. Josef Newgarden made up 101 points on him in a six race span as he had four top two finishes in a six race time frame including just one finish worse than fourth.
That’s why this was even a championship heading to St. Pete.
“It was definitely stressful I guess four, five, six weeks,” Dixon said. “I think at one stage we had about a 117-point lead. It definitely started to dwindle away.
“I could see some concern on Chip’s face and some others. I don’t know what they were so worried about (smiling). We just had a smooth day. That’s all we had to do. Obviously the hardest thing about today was just the restarts. The pace car speed was pretty slow. It was hard to build temperature. That’s the only thing I was really worried about, getting collected or making a small mistake. Seemed most of the others did.
“I’ve got to thank everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing for such a tremendous season. Normally we start off a bit slow but we came out of the gate strong as a team on the first four, which was huge. Had many a podium throughout the season. Just so happy for everybody, our partners, PNC, NTT, Huski Chocolate, everybody that’s involved. NTT, so proud of them, to pull up and be such a big part of our series.
“I’m over the moon. Six sounds a lot better than five, so I’m definitely over the moon.”
But, Dixon kept a steady hand this weekend to cap a beautiful season for him to where he led the standings after literally every race run.