Four-time series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing began the IndyCar season with a third-place finish March 12 at St. Petersburg, Fla.
It could have been better, but some bad luck came his way. It's how it goes sometimes, and Dixon said success can depend on remembering that.
"As a driver, in a lot of ways, you need really thick skin because it's a very up-and-down business," said Dixon, who this weekend will compete in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which he won in 2015. "There are lots of things that are sometimes out of your control and days that you ... like at St. Pete for us. I think we had the car to beat, but we had a caution. That dropped us from second all the way back to 14th and we still fight back to third.
"So you have those things. You've gotta have a very open mind, you've gotta be understanding that sometimes it's just not your day."
RICK MEARS ON MICHAEL ANDRETTI
Much has been written about Helio Castroneves never winning a series title, even though he is one of only nine drivers to win at least three Indy 500 races.
Rick Mears, one of three to win four Indy 500s, recently pointed to Michael Andretti's career as sort of a reverse Castroneves situation. Andretti has won a series title, but has nary an Indy 500 victory among his 42 career race wins.
Does that make Andretti less of a driver? Mears said he's been asked that question.
And I say, 'Are you kidding me?' " Mears said.
Andretti ranks third-all time in career wins.
PIGOT FINALLY IN MAIN EVENT
Spencer Pigot made 10 IndyCar starts last season, racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and finishing with Ed Carpenter Racing. One of the 23-year-old's missing races last year was at Long Beach.
“I haven't raced at Long Beach since Indy Lights in 2015, so I am very excited to be driving there again,” the Pasadena native said.
“It's one of my favorite street courses and the Grand Prix has so much history, it's always been a race I wanted to drive in. We had a lot of positives to take away from the first race in St. Petersburg and I'm confident we can continue that form.”
Pigot was second in that lone Long Beach appearance. He finished 20th in the season opener in St. Petersburg.
Brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor lead the IMSA WeatherTech series in the prototype class with 70 points after wins at Daytona and Sebring. After driving their first three years in this series in a Corvette, they are in a Cadillac this season.
So far, so good.
"It's a big difference," Jordan Taylor said. "It's got a lot more downforce, it's got some power. We've got a bigger engine, a 6.2 liter; last year we had a 5.5 liter. It's a bit of a different style to get used to, but the car is faster everywhere we've gone so far."
FITTIPALDI, FORD TEAM HONORED BY RRDC
Emerson Fittipaldi and a 50th anniversary reunion of Ford winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney, will be the guest of honor at the Road Racing Driver's Club's banquet on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel, 701 W. Ocean Blvd.
Fittipaldi is a two-time Formula One and Indianapolis 500 winner. He will be honored earlier in the day with a Long Beach Walk of Fame induction.
The Le Mans-winning Ford GT Mark IV, entered by Carroll Shelby, will be on display. Edsel B. Ford II and Henry Ford III are scheduled to attend.
The dinner's proceeds will help support the RRDC's young driver initiatives, including its groundbreaking SAFEisFAST.com program and the Team USA Scholarship, which the RRDC has backed since 1997.
There are a limited amount of tickets still remaining. Contact Jeremy Shaw at email@example.com to attend.