INDIANAPOLIS — Until Thursday, Scott Dixon hadn't thought about the numbers in his row.
But they're profound.
Inside to outside, the fourth row on the Indianapolis 500 starting grid reads: Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon, Kurt Busch.
Statistically, it reads something more like this: Multiple victories in Formula One, IndyCar, CART and NASCAR. Two Indianapolis 500 wins. Championships in NASCAR Sprint Cup, IndyCar and CART. A compilation of success in the world's three largest racing series (IndyCar and CART unified in 2008).
"It's weird how things like that work out and put us all in the same place," Dixon told USA TODAY Sports. "For Kurt to be doing the double is awesome in it's own right."
Dixon has been getting to know Busch as both prepare for Sunday's 98th running of the Indy 500. Busch is attempting to compete in the 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on the same day, the first time it's been attempted since Robby Gordon in 2004.
Dixon knows Montoya from their association with Chip Ganassi, Dixon's IndyCar team owner and Montoya's former boss in NASCAR. Montoya now drives for Target Chip Ganassi Racing's arch rival, Team Penske.
"I can't say I've thought about it that much, but when I did see we were all in the same row, I thought that was pretty cool," Dixon said. "I haven't had a chance to talk much to Kurt about it, but I've known Juan for some time through the Target partnership on the IndyCar and Cup side."
Dixon, who has won three IndyCar championships and the Indianapolis 500 in 2008, said the fact that Busch had left Saturday's first day of qualifying to get to Charlotte and couldn't improve his position was key to the three drivers ending up in the same row.
"Kurt was close to making the Fast Nine, but left for Charlotte and wasn't able to return," Dixon said. "And then with my deal, we were struggling on the first day of qualifying and didn't start to make progress until the second day."
When asked who in the row was best, Dixon turned coy.
"We are, of course," he said.