Dixon didn’t want to know trim level before “hairy” Indy 500 pole run

Scott Dixon described his run to a fourth Indianapolis 500 pole as "hairy" after admitting he wasn’t sure how much downforce he had before his four-lap pole shootout run.

Dixon didn’t want to know trim level before “hairy” Indy 500 pole run

Dixon’s fourth Indy pole and 27th of his career, was his first IndyCar pole since the Chip Ganassi Racing driver went quickest for the 500 in 2017.

It resulted in an average speed of 231.685mph to see off strong opposition from Colton Herta of Andretti Autosport and the Ed Carpenter Racing pair Rinus VeeKay and team owner Carpenter.

“It was pretty hairy, glad it's over,” the 2008 Indy 500 winner said.

“It was definitely pretty tense.

“When I saw the first few cars run, it was calm. I saw the ECR cars run and I was like, ‘That's pretty strong, wasn't expecting that.’

“I was able to watch Colton's four laps, too: wish I hadn't before I went out. I knew his consistency was probably going to be a tick better than the other two, and it sure was.

“Yeah, for our car you're kind of just guessing [at downforce levels]. I could see the mechanics working on the car as we rolled through, adjusting the wings.

“I asked them not to tell me – I knew it was only going one way, and that was trimming out more! I knew they were going to be pretty aggressive because we had already started pretty aggressive.

“At Turn 1 for the first lap it was very loose, and I was already maxed out on all the controls. I knew it was just going to be holding on for lap three and four.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

“Lap 4 was definitely pretty rough, especially through Turn 3. I think we did it three-hundredths or some crazy number.”

Asked to verify that he wasn’t told by race engineer Michael Cannon what his downforce level was, Dixon said: “He makes me nervous a lot of the time!

“I sit across from him every day. He shakes a lot, which makes me shake now. Some of the times when we're going through the process, actually last week, too, where we kept missing calculations by a little bit.

“He's like, ‘Today we're going to change this, we're going to change that, change this…’ I'm like, ‘Remember, our car yesterday was pretty good. Are you sure you want to change?’ He's like, ‘I think it's going to be a bit better. I'm like, ‘Alright, I don't want to know anything else now. Don't tell me!

“I knew they were going to monitor the other cars rolling up to go out, see if anybody made any changes. We felt we had a fairly good idea of trim levels. We were already starting fairly aggressive to some of the teammates.

“And when they're adjusting, I knew they're only going one way, that was more [trim] out. I didn't hear the final number.”

Read Also:

Looking ahead to the race, Dixon is eager to chalk up a second Indy 500 win after clocking up three runner-up finishes in 2007, 2012 and 2020.

“It's goal number one, the first goal that we set for the team all year first," he said.

"Then you focus on the championship. That's never changed. I think the first time you step onto this place, come with one of the best teams, that's the obvious sort of goal for us to try and achieve that.

Pole award winner Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Pole award winner Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images

“I can tell you [second] is the worst spot to finish. Last year was frustrating.

Again, this place owes me nothing. We got to keep knocking on that door and hopefully one day again, one day soon, that opens up.”

shares
comments

Related video

Indy 500: Dixon beats Herta to grab fourth pole

Previous article

Indy 500: Dixon beats Herta to grab fourth pole

Next article

VeeKay: “Perfect” Carpenter cars “suit Chevy powerband”

VeeKay: “Perfect” Carpenter cars “suit Chevy powerband”
Load comments
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021