Ganassi's Dixon Eyeing Pocono Victory

Championship Leader Not "Points Racing"

Scott Stiller
August 18, 2018 - 1:24 pm
Scott Dixon's No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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LONG POND, PA (93.7 The Fan) - PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon heads into Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 Verizon IndyCar Race at Pocono Raceway with his sights set on winning the race and letting the Championship take care of itself.

“We have the same approach at Chip Ganassi Racing every weekend, and when we go in, we go there to win,” said Dixon.  “Chip always says, ‘if you can’t win, then we’re going to try and be second, if you can’t be second, try and be third’.  For me, that’s the focus when I’m looking at circuits”.

Dixon leads the IndyCar points standings by 46-points over Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, by 60-points over defending series champion Josef Newgarden and by 87-points over his Penske Racing teammate Will Power.

“The competition right now is definitely tough, especially with the three or four teams that are in good striking position now,” said Dixon.  “We know these teams, and with the remaining races, I think everybody has got a pretty good shot.  We definitely won’t lie down. I badly want to win another championship”.

In order to win the title, the No. 9 PNC Bank team needs maximum points over these final four races but can’t fall into the trap of worrying about points.

“The worst thing you can do is fall into a points racing situation where you’re thinking about where your fellow competitors are constantly throughout the race,” said Dixon. “Obviously you should have a pretty good coverage on what you need to do, but you have to be very careful to hopefully not flip into a points racing situation”. 

A driver can’t win a championship himself and Dixon, who is going for his fifth championship, has a team behind him that is going for its twelfth championship.

“We’ve been in this position before and I think we have a good group of guys that knows what it takes,” said Ganassi.  “We need to execute, execute like a championship team.  We need to make sure we’re providing Scott with what he needs to go fast, and we need to keep side distractions to a minimum and just focus on the task at hand”.

This weekend’s task is 500-miles or 200-laps around the 2.5-mile triangular oval in Long Pond, Pennsylvania known affectionately at the “Tricky Triangle” because of three different, distinct turns.

“Pocono is definitely the ‘Tricky Triangle’ with the level of difficulty,” said Dixon, who signed a new multi-year contract with the team earlier this week.  “It takes a lot of compromise to get through turns 1 and 3 the right way.  It takes a lot of compromise, I think, to have a successful race there or even a car that’s not too difficult to drive”.

There are two practice sessions on Saturday with qualifying sandwiched between those sessions and the race Sunday at 2 p.m. ET

The race will be televised by NBCSN and can be heard on the IndyCar Radio Network.

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