Scott Dixon’s record in Indy car racing speaks for itself.
With 53 wins and six championships, the New Zealander’s stats epitomize a hall of fame career. Those accolades have all led to the induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Dixon’s Indy car journey began in 2001 with Pacwest Racing where he logged his first career win at Nazareth in just his fourth start. The legendary partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing began four races into the 2002 season when PacWest Racing shut down.
Ganassi recalls the conception of the partnership with some hesitance.
“I knew Dixon was a Lights guy. I knew he won the race at Nazareth with PacWest. We were affiliated with Toyota at the time. I think PacWest was, as well.
“They came to me and said they were going to be stopping after Indianapolis I think or soon before or after, around there, and they wanted to know if I would take on Scott Dixon.
“I have to be honest with you, it wasn’t an immediate Okay, yes, let’s do it. It was like, Okay, I think I can. It had nothing to do with Scott, per se. We had two cars, as I recall at the time. This was going to be taking another car. That was no small feat in those days for our team.
“But obviously we knew he had the talent, and the rest is history, I guess, as they say.”
Rest is history can be deemed as an understatement as the partnership allowed Dixon to blossom into one of the greatest in all of sports.
Dixon reflected on his 22 year care with awe.
“The first thing that came to mind was reminiscing, how I got started in the sport with my family, with my parents, then obviously very large and almost the whole portion of it with the successes with Chip,” said Dixon. “I’ve been with this team for over 20 years and we’ve accomplished a lot together. Some tremendous memories.
“But, yeah, the hard part is looking back, but also trying to look forward. I tell you to no extent everything is eyes forward and trying to capture that seventh championship, many more wins, another Indy 500 win and everything.”
Team owner Chip Ganassi is no stranger to the Hall of Fame, being a part of the 2016 class. Ganassi’s team record nearly mirrors Dixon’s success with 14 championships and 124 wins, including five Indy 500s. The veteran team owner recognized his stalwart driver’s attributions directly led to his hall of fame induction.
“It’s interesting, some things that come to mind. I guess part of the reason I think I’m in the Hall of Fame is because of this guy, what he’s done for my career.
“I think it’s an honor to be here this day, to have not only one of your drivers go in, but probably the driver that exemplifies what it is to be at Chip Ganassi Racing is Scott Dixon. He is what Chip Ganassi Racing stands for. He’s all about that.
“I think about that. I think about no small thing that George said, who votes on this. I think, Scott, that’s what the takeaway is today, is the event itself will be early March, so we have a good time to get ready, a little bit of time to get ready for the event, but it’s really something to go to that event and be with the people that voted for you. That’s the nice thing. Obviously the media as well.
“It’s not something that’s a pick out of a dartboard or out of the sky. You’re here because you’ve earned that right to be here. I think nobody exemplifies what it is today in this series to represent, to be that representative, it’s quite an honor.”
With a hall of fame career already in the books, Dixon made it very clear that he doesn’t plan to slow down at 42 years old.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done and a lot of things that are possible. Honestly, that’s all I think about.
“It is nice to have these moments and reflect. I think it also puts an emphasis on what you can also do and what’s still yet to be done.
“Trust me, I love this moment. Again, eyes are forward to what can be done and what we will try to do. I know I’ll enjoy the moment when it comes in March and really soak that in, especially with my good friend Jimmie Johnson, too. That’s going to be a pretty sweet evening.”