INDIANAPOLIS – While his team struggled with setup and speed, Scott Dixon has flown under the radar during preparations for the Indianapolis 500.
It’s exactly how he wants it. It’s how he has tried to be his entire career.
I like to live simply, Dixon said.
As such, one of the most decorated drivers of the last decade goes grossly underappreciated for his accomplishments. He’s the Jimmie Johnson of IndyCar, the driver tearing through the record books with his eye on the top names in series history.
Dixon’s 33 career victories rank seventh all time, and three more wins would leapfrog him past Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Unser into fourth place. The only drivers who rank higher than Dixon in victories right now have the last name Andretti, Foyt and Unser.
Since joining Chip Ganassi Racing in 2002, Dixon has won at least one race in every season except two. He has an Indianapolis 500 win on his résumé, and his three IndyCar championships show a consistency and longevity that’s hard to match.
At 33 years old, he may have almost another decade of racing ahead of him.
But he’s worked in the shadow of some of open-wheel racing’s biggest stars.
When Dario Franchitti joined the Ganassi organization in 2009, Dixon watched his famous teammate reel off three consecutive championships and win two Indy 500s.
In that same span, Dixon finished second in the championship once, third three times, and finished second to Franchitti in the 2012 Indy 500.
Living in Franchitti’s shadow never bothered him.
I preferred that, actually, said Dixon, who will star Sunday’s Indy 500 in 11th place, in the fourth row. When I come out of the truck and everyone is standing around waiting, they all chased after Dario, and I could just get on the scooter and ride off and get to work. I’ve never had any problem not having the spotlight on me.