Throwback Thursday

As all 12 of the avid readers of this site might have noticed, there was no Brain Dump after Long Beach. That’s largely because, in addition to a lack of passing, Indycar races now have the added bonus of a lack of officiating. Which is like hearing the words “Sir, we didn’t just accidentally overcooked your steak from medium rare to Firestone, but we also seemed to have smothered it in cigarette ashes.” Hilarity does not ensue.

Anyhow, the latest in a long but distinguished (ahem) line of officiating controversies involved Simon Pagenaud and whether or not he deprived Scott Dixon of his bazillionth (alright, 40th) IndyCar victory. Which was odd because, in the name of justice, I felt the need to hope Scott Dixon would prevail. This, admittedly, was a weird feeling because your humble host has never been a fan of Dixon, inasmuch as I can’t say that I ever recall cheering for him to win a race. Oh, I absolutely respect his talents and contribution to the sport, and he seems a fine enough chap to share a pint with should the occasion arise, but that doesn’t mean I want to see him win more races.

Which all reminded me of something I had read recently. As you may have seen a few weeks ago, after his victory in Phoenix, George at Oil Pressure had written so respectfully of Dixon’s many talents that you almost forgot he was an Helio fan. Almost. But the post was thorough and not without merits, because, let’s face it, Dixon is very good at this Indycar thing. And yet, although I have nothing but admiration for Dixon and his record, and I got to thinking as to WHY it is that in a list of 33 drivers he’d be some-teenth on my personal list of “who I want to see win” on any given weekend.

In my life I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten enough tacos that, if placed end to end, would stretch from Phoenix to Fiji. But that’s not relevant. What is relevant is that I have seen nearly every Indycar race Dixon has participated in, and although I have no quantitative analysis backing this up, it seems to me he seems to win in, err, non-racy ways. Sometimes he gets “vulture” wins when other drivers make mistakes. Sometime he wins because he advances positions on pit stops. And sometimes he wins because, of course, in the immortal words of the late Jack Arute, he “makes fuel”, stretching the length of his stints like no other driver.

(“You know Jack Arute isn’t dead, right?” – The Spotter)

Dixon is fabulous at many Indycar things – maybe nearly all Indycar things – but mostly he’s fabulous, or rather famous, for doing the unfabulous. To wit, raise your hand if you can recall at least three races where Dixon made an exciting late pass to win. Go ahead, do it right now, if you can. Unless of course if you’re in a Heimlich class and the instructor is asking for volunteers.

OK, now raise your hand if you can recall at least three races where Scott Dixon won because he “made fuel”.

(“Seriously, I think I can see Jack Arute raising his hand from here” – The Spotter)

And after that long windup. . .since Dixon does everything so well, here’s a throwback treat from an Indycar DOWNFORCE campaign of old.  The “Spend a day with. . .” goof also was extended to premier drivers, like Dan Wheldon, EJ Viso(?!?), and Dario Franchitti. Two cringe-worthy words regarding to the latter: “magically delicious.” At any rate, here’s Dixon showing that he’s so good at everything that’s he’s basically Dr Strange at Jenga or something. Which now that I think about it, might explain the whole “making fuel” phenomenon.

4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Oilpressure

    April 22, 2016 at 1:57am

    Like you, I never had anything against Dixon. The problem was that he drove for Ganassi, and won a lot for Ganassi. In hindsight, I think THAT was the problem. But you cannot deny his greatness and I’ve jumped aboard the Dixon bandwagon. I want to appreciate him while he’s still very active and on top of his game. I feel like I’m watching history being made before my eyes.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    billytheskink

    April 22, 2016 at 1:57pm

    I always did think Dixon was the most engaging of the drivers who appeared in CART’s 2002 filler commercial (“Faster”), outside of Paul Tracy anyways. He even bested Tony Kanaan, back when Kanaan had hair.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Kevin_K

    April 22, 2016 at 2:10pm

    The reason why I have grown to actually like Dixon in recent years (up from being completely neutral about him) is how unbelievably good he is interacting with fans at the autograph sessions I’ve been to. He’s one of the few drivers I have encountered over the years that you can actually have a bit of a conversation with (i.e. says more to you than just one or two words). He conveys himself as a driver that truly appreciated every single fan that shows up at the races. Now don’t get me wrong, most of the drivers today are really good interacting with fans, but Dixon is particularly so. Other drivers I have had amazing experiences with are Franchitti, Kanaan, Helio, and Graham Rahal.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Ken R

      April 27, 2016 at 12:29pm

      I agree Kevin, One such encounter with Dixie back in the days of Homestead-Miami I will always remember. It was Saturday afternoon after qualifying, a former girlfriend and Myself were walking through one of the less traveled areas of the paddock when we spotted Scott.. Now neither of us were necessarily fans of Dixon at the time, but my girlfriend wanted a photo with him. As we approached from the left, a reporter zoned in on him from the right. The reporter was closer and beat us to him. When we saw the guy pull out a microphone we figured oh well, he Scott was going to be awhile, but just as we began to walk away he looked over smiled and put up his right index finger indicating that he would only be a moment and that we should wait. We did wait and got some great shots with Scott… The point is, he could just as easily ignored the fact that we were even standing there and after 10 years of seeing him treat all the fans with great appreciation and respect it is clear that this was not simply an aberration… I have been a closet fan of Dixon ever since..

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