Oct 8, 2013, 12:51 PM EDT
Six days and roughly 12 hours of racing this season may be the ultimate key to Scott Dixon winning the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship.
In the three doubleheader race weekends at Detroit, Toronto and Houston, Dixon scored three wins, six top-four finishes in six races, and amassed 263 points.
No one else even came close.
Detroit was expected to be something of a wild card for IndyCar doubleheaders. At the time, racing legend Mario Andretti told me in an exclusive MotorSportsTalk interview it was a gamble for IndyCar to try doubleheaders; potentially, having two races on the same weekend would detract from having just one featured race.
And, with Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud scoring surprise victories, it certainly seemed like no one would really gain the upper hand in the doubleheaders. But Dixon and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team finished fourth in both events, and would only surge from there.
A one-day test at Sebring held in late June was pivotal to the team’s success from that point forward. Gains made to the team’s damper program and a further understanding of the new-for-2013 Firestone tire compounds propelled the team into another stratosphere on street courses.
And because they unloaded fast in both Toronto and Houston, Dixon was unstoppable. He swept the Toronto doubleheader weekend and earned a $100,000 bonus from SONAX for the achievement; he damn near did the same this weekend at Houston but was unable to pass Will Power late in Race 2 on Sunday. As it was, Helio Castroneves’ weekend from hell created a 74-point shift in the standings. Dixon went from 49 down entering the weekend to 25 up leaving.
But he has the doubleheaders to thank for his overall gain in the standings this year. On the doubleheader weekends, Dixon scored 263 points, and Conway was second with 180. Castroneves scored only 143, seventh most in the field.
A full breakdown of each driver’s points total and doubleheader results are below.
1. Scott Dixon, 263 (4,4,1,1,1,2) 2. Mike Conway, 180 (1,3,7,7,16,9) 3. Simon Pagenaud, 169 (12,1,9,12,4,6) 4. Dario Franchitti, 159 (6,5,3,4,15,15) 5. Sebastien Bourdais, 155 (24,11,2,3,8,5) 6. Justin Wilson, 154 (3,22,11,8,3,4) 7. Helio Castroneves, 143 (5,8,6,2,18,23) 8. Will Power, 139 (8,20,15,18,12,1) 9. James Jakes, 128 (10,2,12,23,6,17) 10. Charlie Kimball, 124 (14,7,21,6,11,8) 11. Marco Andretti, 119 (20,6,4,9,13,20) 12. Simona de Silvestro, 116 (16,24,10,14,2,10) 13. Josef Newgarden, 113 (7,16,23,11,5,13) 14. Graham Rahal, 109 (9,10,20,13,7,18) 15. E.J. Viso, 108 (17,17,14,5,9,16) 16. James Hinchcliffe, 100 (15, 19,8,21,24,3) 17. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 95 (2,18,18,19,20,21) 18. Sebastian Saavedra, 91 (22,10,16,15,14,12) 19. Tristan Vautier, 88 (11,14,19,16,22,11) 20. Tony Kanaan, 87 (13,12,5,24,21,24) 21. Ed Carpenter, 67 (18,15,13,22,23,22) 22. Takuma Sato, 65 (19,23,24,20,17,14) 23. Alex Tagliani, 49 (23,21,17,10,DNS x2) 24. Oriol Servia, 37 (DNS x4,19,7) 25. Ryan Briscoe, 34 (21,13,22,DNS x3) 26. Luca Filippi, 31 (DNS x4,10,19) 27. Carlos Munoz, 13 (DNS x3,17,DNS x2) 28. AJ Allmendinger, 10 (25,25,DNS x4)
Mar 29, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT
Ed Jones wins again in St. Petersburg, to complete an Indy Lights weekend sweep.
Mar 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
IndyCar is racing today, at long last. Here’s what to watch for.
Mar 29, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
F1 will continue to visit the Sepang International Circuit until 2018 after a deal was signed on Sunday.
Mar 29, 2015, 12:52 PM EDT
Graham Rahal breaks up the Penske juggernaut and leads IndyCar warmup at St. Petersburg.
Mar 29, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
All three drivers sanctioned by the stewards for misdemeanors in today’s race.
Mar 29, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Red Bull endures a miserable day in Malaysia, scoring just three points in total.
Mar 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Simply finishing the race must go down as an incredible achievement for Manor.
Mar 29, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
Did a mistake in Q1 on Saturday cost Lewis Hamilton a chance to win the Malaysian Grand Prix?
Mar 29, 2015, 7:15 AM EDT
Breaking the record by over two years, Max Verstappen cemented his place in the F1 history books in Malaysia on Sunday.
Mar 29, 2015, 6:30 AM EDT
Ferrari team principal oversees his first victory since taking the helm at Maranello.
Mar 29, 2015, 5:56 AM EDT
German driver didn’t expect his challenge to Ferrari in Australia to be taken up so quickly.
Mar 29, 2015, 5:36 AM EDT
British driver humble in defeat after losing out to Vettel and Ferrari in Malaysia.
Mar 29, 2015, 5:19 AM EDT
German driver claims a superb win in Malaysia in just his second race for Ferrari.
Mar 29, 2015, 4:46 AM EDT
Ferrari claims its first win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix as Vettel perfects his strategy to win at Sepang.
Mar 29, 2015, 2:34 AM EDT
Fuel system problem sidelines the Briton on Sunday for Manor.
Mar 29, 2015, 2:15 AM EDT
Join us on NBCSN and Live Extra for all of the action from Malaysia as Lewis Hamilton goes in search of another race win.
Mar 29, 2015, 2:00 AM EDT
Lewis Hamilton will lead the grid away at Sepang on Sunday.
Mar 28, 2015, 9:01 PM EDT
It was a double dose of Force in Saturday’s final rounds of qualifying for the sixth-annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
Mar 28, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT
Roundup of the rest of Saturday’s action from St. Petersburg.
- What to watch for: IndyCar at St. Petersburg 0
- Emotional Vettel revels in first victory for Ferrari 4
- Vettel claims shock win for Ferrari in Malaysia as Mercedes pays for strategy mistake 7
- NHRA: C. Force, Todd, McGaha and Arana Jr. qualify No. 1 for 4-Wide Nationals eliminations 0
- Teaser clip: F1 on NBC’s “Off the Grid” hits Mexico (VIDEO) 1
- Power on pole in Penske top-four sweep of St. Petersburg qualifying 1
- One spectator killed, others injured, at VLN Endurance event in Germany 4