The Indy 500's Greatest 33: No. 22 - Scott Dixon
by Bill Potter
With 23 days remaining until the 100th Anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500, SB Nation Indiana is starting its countdown of the Greatest 33, the ultimate Indianapolis 500 field. Fans can build their own field by clicking here. Today, SB Nation Indiana looks at another of the dominant drivers of the current IndyCar era, Scott Dixon.
A two-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion, Scott Dixon has come to be a consistent factor at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his last five trips to IMS, Dixon has recorded top six finishes in each running of the Indianapolis 500, claiming the 2008 500.
However, it wasn't always so easy for the New Zealand native. In two of his first three 500s, Dixon found the wall, with an accident relegating him to 17th in 2003 and a second wreck at IMS placing him 24th two years later. Since then, though, Dixon has regularly been one of the cars to beat during the 500.
After leading laps in 2006 and 2007, it was Dixon's turn to be the dominant car in 2008. Target Chip Ganassi Racing had the best cars that year, as Dixon and teammate Dan Wheldon led 145 of the 200 laps. Dixon, having qualified on the pole for the lone time in his career at Indianapolis, paced 115 of those laps, taking the lead on seven different occasions in collecting his first Borg-Warner Trophy.
The following year, it looked as if Dixon was in position to capture his second straight 500. Starting in the middle of Row 2 (Dixon has qualified in the top two rows in six of eight Indianapolis starts), the Kiwi had his No. 9 Target machine positioned to capture the win, leading laps 91-141, as he and new teammate Dario Franchitti ran one-two. In what was essentially a four-car race for the 500, Dixon led the most laps in the race, with 73. However, Helio Castroneves would pass Dixon on a Lap 142 restart and claim his third 500 victory.
Having led five 500s, started in the front two rows each of the last five years, and finished in the top six in each of the last five years, there is no doubt that Dixon once again will be one of the main cars to watch during the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 29.