Ganassi's Dixon And Crew Win Pit Stop Competition At Indy

Beats Sentimental Favorite James Hinchcliffe In Finals

Scott Stiller
May 26, 2018 - 8:05 am
Scott Dixon No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Pit Stop

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


Scott Dixon and his No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Team are off to a good start for this weekend's Indianapolis 500.  Dixon and his crew beat sentimental favorite James Hinchcliffe and his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) crew to win the Pit Stop Competition Friday during Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  

Hinchcliffe didn't qualify for the race so fans wildly cheered the popular driver as he advanced through the bracket-style elimination.  It didn't matter at crunch time as Dixon's crew, nicknamed "Wolfpack", won two of the heats in the best-of-three finals.

“I think the biggest thing for the drivers is just try not to screw it up for these guys,” Dixon said.  “It's a big deal to show just how much of a team sport this is. It's never just one single person. It's many trying to achieve the same objective."

The No. 9 PNC Bank Honda crew -- consisting of tire changers Blair Julian, Kyle Clark, Mike LeGallic and Jason Beck, fueler Alphonse Girard and airjack operator Dave Pena - split the $50,000 first prize.  SPM took home $15,000 for their efforts.

Julian, who has been with Ganassi for 16-years and 20 with Dixon, said there is always pressure when the car is in the pit box.

“I think every pit stop is about the same amount of pressure,” said Julian.  “Obviously the last one is sort of ramped up a little bit. I think we've all been doing it enough time we can do it. We try to make it clean and get out.”

Beck said the approach is always the same every time they pit the car.

“We’re not always the quickest, but we’re the most consistent,” Beck said. “Last year we won seven of the pit stop awards during races, more on consistency than it was just trying to be outright fast all the time. I think we constantly make spots up in the pits nine out of ten times.

Dixon said passing cars on pit road is always easier than passing them on the track.

"Some days I'm able to make a couple passes on track, but most of the time these guys are able to make it a lot easier for me and the team by gaining places in these pit stops."

The Wolfpack crew and their driver hope they can continue to be consistent and quick on Sunday during the 102nd Indianapolis 500.

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