2008 Indianapolis 500 winner thinks NASCAR star will be a factor with Andretti Autosport
3-time and defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon stopped by the Autoweek offices in Detroit this week to help market the upcoming IndyCar season and the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix doubleheader set for the Motor City the weekend of Could 30-June one.
We asked the 33-year-previous Chip Ganassi Racing driver about Kurt Busch, Dario Franchitti, IndyCar doubleheaders and his personal feasible future in sports automobiles soon after his IndyCar days are over.
Here is what Dixon had to say:
AUTOWEEK: The 2014 Indianapolis 500 acquired exciting this offseason with the announcements that 1995 Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve, 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya and NASCAR star Kurt Busch could be in the discipline. Do you feel these guys, especially Busch, have a chance to win the race?
SCOTT DIXON: It is quite great. It truly is very good to see. The Villeneuve thing sort of shocked me. I did not hear much about that one particular. And there is Kurt Busch. That schedule has to be crazy for him, but it truly is acquired to be cool to say that you are 1 of the few guys to do the 2 [the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600] on the same day. Kurt’;s with a great staff and has excellent teammates. It will be an eye-opener for confident. Correct now, you would say that he’;s received a opportunity to win [the 500], but Indy is this kind of a humorous location between the strategies and all the weird items that can happen. Even if you speak to A.J. Foyt about his 4 wins, he’;ll probably tell you about 4 other ones that he should have won that he dominated. It is an odd area.
AW: The doubleheader format returns to IndyCar with doubleheader weekends at Detroit, Houston and Toronto. You benefitted from the format far more than anybody final yr, bolting previous Helio Castroneves with a large weekend in Houston on your way to the 2013 IndyCar title. What are your thoughts about the format?
SD: It worked for me for positive. Helio possibly doesn’;t like them. I had 3 wins, a second and 2 4ths, so I feel without having the doubleheaders we would have come up quick in the championship. Detroit, for me, I have always had mixed emotions about performing effectively or not carrying out effectively. Last 12 months was entertaining. We had an accident in practice and went to the back of the field, and raced from twenty-one thing all the way to 4th place. You could in fact pass people, the racing was fun. There was strategies going on. But, no, the doubleheaders as a total, I appreciate them. For me, if I’;m at a racetrack, I would rather be racing alternatively of carrying out a lot more practice sessions and factors like that.
AW: This year, the IndyCar schedule is drastically condensed, with all 18 races scheduled from March thirty by means of Aug. thirty. Is that a good thing?
SD: The schedule has not really altered a whole lot. By means of the summer time months, the condensed routine is not a whole lot different. Generally, you variety of framework testing to fill in the blanks in the routine, but now it’;s variety of bang, bang, bang. It looks compressed on a calendar, but when you add a bunch of testing it truly is not that diverse. For me, personally, I would like to see the season run right up until October or November and with far more races.
AW: The career of an IndyCar driver is normally not as prolonged as that of a sports activities-vehicle driver. Do you see your self transitioning into more sports activities-auto projects down the road? Is that exactly where you can see oneself soon after your IndyCar occupation winds down?
SD: It really is a all-natural progression, yeah, and I’;m not really good at something else. I just love racing. If you get to a point where you’;re possibly not competitive, or you happen to be obtaining lengthy in the tooth in IndyCar racing, sports activities vehicles is an option.
AW: You are 33, and that might even be considered old if you have been driving in Formula 1. Your teammate Dario Franchitti retired from IndyCar at forty — soon after his crash in Houston. Did Dario’;s announcement get you to thinking about how long you want to be racing Indy automobiles?
SD: Dario was still quite aggressive just before his accident. I think it all comes down to regardless of whether you have the drive or not. For me, I consider it’;s just a really like for racing. I just really like racing, and the aggressive side of it. Regardless of whether that burns out, I feel that is a private issue to every single individual which way it turns. Even in the sports-car things, you might deal with it as a lower-essential weekend, but after you’;re in the automobile you have to get soon after it. it is just a private point.
AW: What do the IndyCar drivers anticipate out of Juan Pablo Montoya his yr? Can someone stage back into an Indy auto after 6 years of operating in NASCAR and be aggressive?
SD: It truly is not going to be an effortless task, but he is a talented guy and has won in everything feasible. I consider it really is far more of a when will it kick into substantial gear as opposed to if. It will come about. To go from NASCAR to IndyCar is such a diverse driving design. He’;ll get there.
AW: Is Dario Franchitti taking an lively part with the staff this yr?
SD: Yeah, he’;s been to all the exams and he’;s assisting Tony [Kanaan’;s] transition to the crew. He’;s carrying out effectively, and has been genuine enthusiastic. It is difficult to know at times how a alter like that will play out. Dario has variety of become what Rick Mears is at Penske. He will search at data and offer ideas. He is a real recent man and he understands the auto and how it performs. Dario understands the technical side so a lot. He actually fairly anal in his consideration to detail. He’;s just a educated guy and also explains it truly effectively. When Dario and Danica [Patrick] have been teammates at Andretti, he helped her a great deal and she even competent on the front row at Mid-Ohio. He’;s actually very good at explaining and seeing different factors. I feel he will for confident add some thing to the crew. He nonetheless has a passion and love for the sport.
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