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.