LEEDS, Ala — It’s remarkable that Scott Dixon hasn’t won a pole since the 2017 Indianapolis 500. What’s even more amazing is that he’s finished on the podium in 9 of his 11 starts at the Barber Motorsports Park but has yet to win in any of them.
Dixon, brought his No. 9 Honda home in third place during Sunday’s 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season opener to score his 124th career podium. That’s 20 shy of tying Mario Andretti for most ever in the series. It was also his 175th career Indy Car top five as well which is 19 shy of Andretti for most ever too.
The thing is, what does he have to do to win at Barber?
He’s finished in the top 6 in 10 of those 11 tries with a worst result being of 10th in 2016. He’s always there in the end to win on the 2.3-mile Alabama facility, he’s just not made the trek to the top step of the podium yet.
Dixon, said though that he felt like he had a car capable of a runner-up finish but he just couldn’t get past Will Power in the final stint. He said it was more of a track position race and despite having a faster car, he couldn’t do anything with it.
“Track position was everything today,” he said. “I feel we executed on things strategy-wise, but it was the wrong one. We were the fastest car all weekend. Got great points here, and would have loved to win. I’m 100 percent sure when St. Pete comes in a couple of days, we’ll be ready.”
By virtue of that, Dixon said this was more of a ho-hum race that he just rode around for most of it as a result.
“It was just very tough once you were kind of in traffic and we even felt that once Will and I caught some lap traffic I think that middle stint we could have extended by probably another three laps, but because we caught that I think we just had to pit anyway to try and cover the 8 that was maybe trying to short pit us and jump on that situation,” said the six-time series champion.
“Yeah, just, I don’t know, it was kind of a bit of a blah day for us. We kind of sat there, tried to make some moments on the 12 car and with Will, but we just couldn’t get close enough to pull it off and the speeds were so similar.”
He’s not finished on the podium in three straight season openers including 4 of the last 5 years at that.