Three races into the season and we already are seeing a trend: Scott Dixon ending up in the winner’s circle. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver did it again Saturday when he took the lead late in the race and won for the third time this season.
Race 2 goes off late Sunday morning, but here are three of my Saturday storylines:
Dixon, Rinse, Repeat: If you factor in his win at the Rolex 24 back in January, Dixon is now 4-for-4 on the season. While this one wasn’t of the usual dominant variety, Dixon is quickly pulling away from the rest of the IndyCar field, as his 155 points puts him 62 points ahead of Simon Pagenaud and 67 up on Colton Herta. It also puts him just one win away from joining A.J. Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52) as the only IndyCar drivers with 50 career wins. I predicted on this week’s The Rumble Strip podcast that Dixon was going to win one of the races this weekend, but does he continue his sweeping ways?
Nice to meet you, Alex Palou: It’s been an eventful year for the Dale Coyne Racing rookie. When COVID-19 broke out, he spent several weeks sheltered in place at home in Spain, and as the Texas weekend was getting closer, he had to wait to get clearance to leave Europe, then quarantine at his U.S.-based home in Austin, Tex. He’s gotten off to a solid start to his first IndyCar campaign, and Saturday picked up his first career IndyCar podium with a third-place finish. The 23-year-old was also the biggest mover of the race, improving 11 spots from his P14 starting position.
Alexander Rossi, where are you?: Rossi’s season has been plagued by mechanical issues, and his bad luck continued Saturday with a disappointing 19th-place finish. None of what has happened to the Andretti Autosport driver has been his fault, but no one gets extra points out of sympathy. Rossi, who has finished P2 and P3, respectively, over the last two seasons in the final points, will wake up for this morning’s race sitting 22nd in the standings, a massive 124 points behind Dixon. If his luck continues this Sunday, is he written off in the championship hunt?
There is no rest for the weary, as Race 2 will take place at just after 11 a.m. local time this morning. Then it’s back home for four days before heading to Iowa Speedway for next weekend’s two-night, under the lights bullring extravaganza.
Photo credit: Joe Skibinski/IndyCar Media