INDIANAPOLIS — Chip Ganassi Racing is arguably one of the best Indy Car teams in the series today. They hold 115 wins, 12 series titles and five Indianapolis 500 victories. They also enter this month’s race 1-2 in points with Scott Dixon leading Alex Palou by 13 markers.
While the team has enjoyed much success, they would really enjoy another Indy 500 win, as their last one was back in 2012.
It’s not like they haven’t competed very well lately. 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.
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 six. Only Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52) have more overall race victories in the series than Dixon’s 50. Only Andretti has as many runner-up finishes, 56-48, than Dixon. Just Andretti (144) and Foyt (119) have more podiums than Dixon’s 123.
In top five finishes, Andretti has 194, Dixon has 176. 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 eight top eight finishes in 12 tries. He led the most laps last year and came home runner-up for his second top three result in three years.
This year, Chip Ganassi Racing will have four drivers vying for the top spot in victory lane.
Dixon’s teammates this May will be Palou, Marcus Ericsson and a return to the team from Tony Kanaan.
The No. 10 car is Palou’s and 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 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 is back in the third car while Kanaan takes over the No. 48 Honda.
This could be the time that Ganassi is drinking the milk again. They’ve looked really good in practice this week and feel like the favorite again in 2021.
It will be interesting to see if either of these Chip Ganassi Racing drivers can bring home the Borg Warner Trophy for their beloved team.