Oct 8, 2013, 12:51 PM EST
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)
Jan 26, 2015, 8:45 PM EST
NASCAR heavily is considering using the May 16 showcase as a trial run of the rules package for the 2016 season and has begun informing Sprint Cup teams of the possibility.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:33 PM EST
Quick recap for Day 1 of 3 in South Florida for the Indy Lights contingent.
Jan 26, 2015, 8:06 PM EST
Kyle Busch say that he doesn’t see Toyota partners Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing working closely together and that “we’re idiots” for not doing so.
Jan 26, 2015, 7:04 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 6:05 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 4:54 PM EST
Which Joe Gibbs Racing driver will have the best season in 2015? Newcomer Carl Edwards, or Matt Kenseth, or JGR stalwarts Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin?
Jan 26, 2015, 4:38 PM EST
After last year’s exciting Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR chairman Brian France painted a very positive state of the sport Monday. There are still challenges, but NASCAR is working at fixing those.
Jan 26, 2015, 4:05 PM EST
NASCAR Chairman Brian France says series officials are not looking to eliminate the four-car limit for teams.
Jan 26, 2015, 3:58 PM EST
The wireless communications company already has announced its departure after the end of its contract in 2016
Jan 26, 2015, 3:30 PM EST
Devon Amos, Jay Beasley, Collin Cabre, Natalie Decker, Kenzie Ruston, and Dylan Smith part of this year’s D4D program; an update on Daytona Rising renovation project.
Jan 26, 2015, 3:22 PM EST
Greg Morin, a pit coach overseeing the crews of Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr., is leaving his position after January.
Jan 26, 2015, 3:08 PM EST
NASCAR has outlawed the practice of teams manipulating — or flaring out — of rear side skirts to produce an aerodynamic advantage.
Jan 26, 2015, 1:25 PM EST
The Grove gang reveals its lineup for the first F1 preseason test of 2015.
Jan 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EST
Video game retail company continues support of Joe Gibbs Racing’s XFINITY Series program.
Jan 26, 2015, 11:30 AM EST
Official launch of the new car is set for Friday.
Jan 26, 2015, 11:09 AM EST
NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett will join NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of NASCAR in 2015, it was announced Monday.
National Motorsports Press Association honors Lynda Petty, Kevin Harvick and others for service, achievement
Jan 26, 2015, 10:31 AM EST
Richard Petty’s late wife, Lynda, and 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick were among those who were honored during Sunday’s National Motorsports Press Association annual awards banquet.
Jan 26, 2015, 10:10 AM EST
Lotus hopes to put a less-than-competitive 2014 to rest with the help of its new car.
Jan 26, 2015, 9:36 AM EST
A long layoff has drivers such as Danica Patrick ready ‘to take out this aggression somewhere right now.’
Jan 25, 2015, 11:33 PM EST
A big fan of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. posed a rather interesting question to his Twitter followers: Could NASCAR ever do — let alone consider — a 24-hour race?
Video from NASCAR America
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