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)
Aug 23, 2014, 1:09 AM EDT
Dramatic day for Pro Mazda, USF2000 Friday in Sonoma.
Aug 22, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT
Ryan Blaney passed Kyle Busch with six laps left in Friday night’s Food City 300 Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and then held on the rest of the way to earn his second career NNS victory.
Aug 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
Update (8:30 p.m. ET): The engines have been fired and tonight’s Food City 300 is ready to roll.
Aug 22, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
The Bowtie has won the IndyCar manufacturer’s title in all three seasons since returning to North American open-wheel racing in 2012.
Aug 22, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT
Jeff Gordon looked like he had the pole for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. But Kevin Harvick had other ideas.
Aug 22, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
At 7-feet tall, ESPN NASCAR analyst, team co-owner and former NBA star Brad Daugherty is a formidable presence. He’s also known to play a practical joke every now and then.
Aug 22, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT
Unpredictable weather conditions have impacted the Food City 500 in its March spot, which the event has had since the 2005 season.
Aug 22, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be officially presented on Tuesday, August 26 at 5 p.m. ET on a special 60-minute edition of NASCAR AMERICA.
Aug 22, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT
“Rowdy” earns the pole for tonight’s Food City 300 with a lap of 125.142 miles per hour in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Aug 22, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT
Former NASCAR Nationwide Series team owner Ed Whitaker passed away Friday at his home in Bristol, Va., business associate Peter Laura told the Bristol Herald Courier.
Aug 22, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
In statement, Alexander Rossi takes the high road after missing out on Grand Prix debut with Marussia in Spa.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT
Late in the 50-minute session, the Roush Fenway Racing driver zipped around the half-mile oval at 131.048 mph in the No. 17 Ford Fusion.
Aug 22, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
Here’s today’s round-up from the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT
In the year of the power unit, Spa is rewarding the Mercedes-powered teams.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT
Russian GP3 debutante Konstantin Tereschenko goes for a wild ride at Spa, but mercifully emerges unscathed.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver turns a lap of 131.083 mph around the high-banked half-mile to lead Friday’s first practice session.
Aug 22, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
As good as he may be, is Max Verstappen too young to be racing up against drivers twice his age?
Aug 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Son of ex-racer Jos set to become the youngest ever F1 driver next season at the age of 17.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
At 13th on the Chase Grid with three regular season races left, the former Sprint Cup champion isn’t feeling the need to choose between going for a win or having a good points day.
Aug 22, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Mercedes once again dominated practice, finishing first and second in both sessions on Friday at Spa.
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