DIXON FINDS HIS GROOVE
Long Beach Grand Prix Notebook: Scott Dixon finds his groove earlier
April 14, 2012
LONG BEACH - Scott Dixon won the IndyCar series title in 2003 and 2008. The past three years he has finished second, third and third. But in the first two races of each of those years he has gotten off to finishes of 16th and 15th, sixth and 18th, and 16th and second, respectively.
So even though Dixon would have loved to have won either of the first two races this season, he is nevertheless pleased to have finished second at both St. Petersburg, Fla., and Birmingham, Ala., here in 2012.
That puts him two points behind series points leader Helio Castroneves, who won at St. Petersburg.
"Pretty happy," said Dixon, of Team Target Chip Ganassi. "We're a lot better off then we have been the last couple of years, for sure.
"I think two years ago, (coming into) Long Beach I was 20th in points and I'm probably, I don't know, 40 or 50 points better off than I have been the last two years. So it's nice from that fact."
But, like any champion, he is not completely satisfied.
"We've led the most laps the first two races and got those bonus points, but we haven't been able to capitalize on that and actually get the victory," said Dixon, of New Zealand. "I think St. Pete, I was happy with the result; it was the best we had. Helio definitely had a better run, better speed.
"Barber, I was pretty bummed about. I think we stepped on our feet a little bit there, fumbled for a lap ... and then having a bit of a fumble in the pits cost us the win there. That was frustrating, but you have to take them as they come.
It's going to go your way sometimes. As long as we keep being there and pushing at the front, hopefully we can turn one of these into a win here shortly."
Dixon received two bonus points at each of the two races for most laps led. He had the 10th-best practice time of 1:20.8931 on Friday.