Dixon confident that Indy is in Honda’s “sweet spot”

Four-time IndyCar champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon believes that having Honda power could be key to him achieving his second triumph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Dixon confident that Indy is in Honda’s “sweet spot”
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

During the last off-season, Chip Ganassi Racing switched back to Honda after a three-year alliance with Chevrolet which produced the IndyCar title for Dixon in 2015. This year Dixon has not won a race, but has scored three podium finishes and lies second in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

Asked to comment on the difference between the manufacturers’ engines and aerokits, Dixon replied: “The biggest difference is probably the road course/short oval. Short ovals are probably the biggest disadvantage right now.

“[But] I think Honda and HPD have been doing a fantastic job. They’ve made big gains and this is one of the strongest starts to a season that I’ve had. I think we should have won a couple of races too. Our speed is there.”

“This should be where we get to our sweet spot – on the superspeedways… I think the kit is decent and as we’ve seen in the recent past, the [Honda-powered] Andretti cars have been very strong, so it’s definitely achievable. And from the numbers, it looks like it’s the preferred kit at least for the superspeedways.”

However, Dixon said he had not yet gotten a read on which of the two engine manufacturers had an edge.

“It’s still a bit early yet; I think on both sides with both manufacturers there’s a lot to come,” he commented. “Fast Friday is an indication where you start to see no-tows [lap speeds from cars without the aid of the draft] and people who you may be fighting for the Fast Nine.

“For us, the main goal is to get the car comfortable first, see what position we’re fighting for at the time and see if we quickly need to reinvent the wheel. Hopefully, we’re in the right position and we can chase for the pole.

“Last year was a big disappointment where we just didn’t have the speed. Hopefully, this year is different.”

Dixon said that despite a regular wind speed of 20mph with gusts of over 40mph, he had been pleased with Chip Ganassi Racing’s progress on Day 3 of practice.

“We tried to get through some big-ticket items,” he said. “We weren’t real happy across the board with all four cars. We’ve been struggling. We had some ideas we needed to try and [Wednesday] felt a lot better than [Tuesday]. A good improvement.”

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