Scott Dixon Still Deserves More Credit


Scott Dixon Still Deserves More Credit

Scott Dixon and the CGR team in victory lane, Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach 2024

Image: Chip Ganassi Racing

The 2024 Grand Prix of Long Beach was the platonic ideal motor race for Indianapolis Cars in recent history. The race, as is tradition, had two groups of drivers on two different fuel and tire strategies, one saving fuel and one going flat out to catch them. Scott Dixon—truly a Merlin-style wizard who can make more fuel appear in his tank as if from thin air—was on the former and absolutely excelling at it. He laughed in the face of everyone who didn’t believe he could do it, holding on for an incredible race victory. I was both hooting and hollering.

IndyCar Series EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS: Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach | 4/21/24 | Motorsports on NBC

Nobody at the track believed Scott could do it, at one point the broadcast announcers declaring his race over and predicting he wouldn’t even make the podium. Somehow he had to make his fuel last for 34 laps, and according to the announcers in the booth, nobody had ever done more than 33 laps on a tank at Long Beach before. It seemed that everyone had written him off as either having to save so much fuel his lap times would suffer significantly, or running out before the checkers fell.

The second-quickest driver on the same strategy as Dixon, the also-talented old hand Will Power, finished sixth, about 15 seconds in arrears. Josef Newgarden, on the alternate strategy, was running at full burn to catch Dixon and nearly did in the final laps of the race, but was tapped at the infamous hairpin corner with just a couple laps remaining, costing him a place on the podium. On the final lap Dixon was given the call to go full tilt “use everything you got” from the pit wall to hold off a hard charging Colton Herta.

This race victory for Dixon marks twenty seasons in a row with race victories for the 43-year-old Kiwi. If you’re still underestimating Dixon, you really need to stop. He does shit everyone else thinks is impossible, and it’s truly incredible. He’s one of the greatest to ever do it.