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)
Apr 18, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Beretta’s Ferrari to start up front for Round 5 of season.
Apr 18, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT
Newgarden qualifies sixth for Long Beach race, best outside IndyCar’s established “power trio.”
Apr 18, 2015, 9:05 PM EDT
With 1-2-5 in qualifying at Long Beach, Team Penske’s hot streak on Saturdays continues to open 2015.
Apr 18, 2015, 8:49 PM EDT
Polesitting entries bring it home Saturday at Long Beach for the TUDOR Championship.
Apr 18, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT
Scott Dixon hopes for success at Long Beach, a track he considers a “thorn in the side.”
Apr 18, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT
Ryan Hunter-Reay begins rebound from NOLA wreck by qualifying fourth in Long Beach.
Apr 18, 2015, 6:44 PM EDT
NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell returns to the Indianapolis 500 with Dreyer & Reinbold/Kingdom Racing.
Apr 18, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT
Helio Castroneves brings Team Penske its third consecutive pole to start the season.
Apr 18, 2015, 5:52 PM EDT
IndyCar qualifying about to go on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
Apr 18, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT
Jack Harvey will start from the pole for Sunday’s Indy Lights race in Long Beach.
Apr 18, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
American driver Alexander Rossi performs admirably to finish third, having lost the lead of the race with two laps remaining.
Apr 18, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT
Despite expecting to struggle in Bahrain, Sainz will start the race from ninth place on Sunday.
Apr 18, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT
Grosjean believes he could have qualified higher up the grid, but is pleased to have maintained his 100% Q3 record in 2015.
Apr 18, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT
Simon Pagenaud led IndyCar’s final practice session in Long Beach.
Apr 18, 2015, 2:07 PM EDT
Daniel Ricciardo fares far better in the sister Red Bull, qualifying seventh in Bahrain.
Apr 18, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT
Former Red Bull driver believes that the focus should not be on tire management, but instead on driver ability and pace.
Apr 18, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
Rosberg misses out on the front row for the second time in three races, exposing Mercedes to the threat from Ferrari in the race.
Apr 18, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT
Conor Daly gets a last-minute IndyCar shot with Dale Coyne Racing.
Apr 18, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT
Four-time world champion qualified second for the Bahrain Grand Prix, splitting the Mercedes drivers at the front of the grid.
- Castroneves secures pole in IndyCar qualifying at Long Beach 0
- Hamilton eases to fourth straight pole position in Bahrain 0
- Hamilton closes out Bahrain GP practice on top 0
- INDYCAR confirms more aero kit updates coming to Long Beach 1
- Rocky Moran Jr. to replace Huertas in Coyne’s No. 18 for Long Beach 7
- Rosberg heads up Mercedes one-two in Bahrain FP2 1
- Kimi Raikkonen quickest in first practice for Bahrain GP 2