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Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon is a six-time IndyCar Series champion. In 2023, he will once again compete for the PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing team. Read all about the successful driver on this page.

Scott dixon indycar series scott dixon indy 500 © Doug Mathews

Early and Personal Life of Scott Dixon

Scott Ronald Dixon is the the youngest child and only son of Ron and Glenys Dixon. Dixon was born on 22 July 1980 in Brisbane, Australia. He grew up with two older sisters. Despite being born in Australia, Dixon holds New Zealand citizenship. This is because both his parents are from New Zealand. His parents were involved in racing different types of cars on various circuits and even owned a dirt speedway in Townsville, North Queensland. Seeking better opportunities, the family relocated to Australia in 1976 and settled in Townsville before eventually returning to Auckland, New Zealand, ten years later following a major accident involving his father. Dixon attended Manurewa Central Primary, Green Meadows Intermediate, and James Cook High School. In February 2008, he tied the knot with Emma Davies-Dixon, a former British and Welsh 800 meters champion and television presenter. The couple now has three children.

Scott Dixon Early Career

At the age of seven, Dixon's fascination with racing go-karts began after witnessing his cousins compete at the Mt. Wellington oval kart track in Auckland. Following a race day, he decided to give karting a try. Supported by his parents, who saw his potential, Dixon embarked on a racing career. At the tender age of eight, he hopped into a midget car equipped with an Ironhorse engine. Dixon drew inspiration from accomplished New Zealand drivers such as Chris Amon, Denny Hulme, and Bruce McLaren.

Over the next six years, Dixon's parents acquired additional equipment based on his progress and accomplishments. His father, working tirelessly, imported Omega karts and cars from Japan to finance his son's endeavors. To support this financial commitment, he borrowed substantial amounts of money without disclosing the full extent to his wife. During this period, Dixon achieved remarkable success, winning 30 significant karting championships in Australia and New Zealand, all within his age group. Among these victories was the 1992 New Zealand Junior Restricted Championship.

At the age of 13, Dixon made the transition to car racing. With special permission from Motorsport NZ, he obtained a junior competition license, allowing him to participate in club and national level events, including Formula Ford, thanks to the efforts of his parents. In his first attempt, he clinched the 1994 New Zealand Formula Vee Championship, becoming the youngest champion in its history. He also secured second place in the 1994 New Zealand Formula Class II Championship and competed in the 1994 NZRDC Formula Ford Winter Series.

During one race at Pukekohe Park Raceway, Dixon attracted national attention when he rolled a Nissan Sentra saloon car onto its roof. Despite the challenging situation, he showcased his determination by struggling out of the upturned vehicle with a cushion strapped to his back, enabling him to reach the pedals. In the following season (1995-1996), Dixon competed in the higher-tier New Zealand Formula Ford Class II Championship, driving a 1600cc light, low-downforce pushrod open-wheel car. He dominated the category, winning 13 out of 14 events and securing the championship. Subsequently, Dixon's family moved him to the primary Formula Ford class, where he raced a 1992 Swift car. He continued his winning streak, capturing the 1996-1997 title with eight victories out of 15 starts.

Due to a lack of support from Motorsport NZ, Dixon's family sought guidance from open-wheel racer Ken Smith. Smith became Dixon's manager and mentor, and together they devised a plan to send Dixon to the Australian Drivers' Championship's Formula Holden class. With the loss of funding from their local sponsors, Dixon relied on race-by-race support from sponsors and individuals. In the under-powered 1991 Ralt Australia Reynard 91D-Holden car, he finished the 14-race series in third place and was named Rookie of the Year. Initially, Dixon faced challenges communicating with team owner Graham Watson, as he was not a family member. Dixon's academic performance was outstanding, prompting his school to recommend that he discontinue his education and focus solely on racing.

To finance his 1998 campaign, investors formed the Scott Dixon Motor Sport (SDMS) company, which aimed to raise enough funds to support Dixon's racing career until he could secure a position with a top-tier team. Unfortunately, as Dixon was not an Australian citizen, he was ineligible for access to the Australian Institute of Sport for fitness and media training. Competing in the 12-round series with a 1992 SH Racing Reynard 92D-Holden car, Dixon claimed the Australian Gold Star Drivers' Championship by achieving five wins, five second-places, and seven pole positions. His outstanding performance throughout the season, including a thrilling rivalry with future V8 Supercars racer Todd Kelly, earned him the championship title. Additionally, Dixon secured a second-place finish in the prestigious New Zealand Grand Prix.

Move to the United States

In late 1998, Dixon made a significant career move by relocating to the United States. He aimed to compete in the Championship Auto Racing Teams' (CART) developmental series, Indy Lights, with the ultimate goal of reaching Formula 1. Due to financial constraints, Dixon and SDMS were unable to afford the more expensive European racing series, such as British Formula 3 with Alan Docking Racing. In their pursuit of opportunities, SDMS approached Tasman Motorsports owner Steve Horne, but they couldn't secure sufficient sponsorship for Dixon to join the team. Fortunately, Johansson Motorsports (JM) stepped in and tested Dixon at Sebring International Raceway. Dixon impressed the team, and despite legal negotiations with SDMS and additional sponsorship support, he secured a spot in JM for the 1999 season.

In preparation for the intense physical demands of racing, Dixon underwent intensive training, including wearing a weighted helmet to strengthen his neck muscles and withstand high g-forces. In his debut season, driving a Lola T97/20-Buick car, Dixon achieved notable success, finishing fifth in the drivers' championship. He secured one victory and four top-five finishes, showcasing his talent and potential. In the Rookie of the Year standings, Dixon placed second, narrowly missing out on the title to Jonny Kane. In October 1999, he also had the opportunity to test a Formula 3000 car for the Gauloises Junior Team in France. Furthermore, Dixon continued to impress by finishing as the runner-up in the New Zealand Grand Prix.

After parting ways with his former manager, Dixon found new representation in JM team owner Stefan Johansson, who became his manager. Johansson made it clear that if Dixon couldn't progress to CART in the 2001 season, they would seek opportunities with another team. Dixon's talents didn't go unnoticed, as media manager Brett Murray encouraged PacWest Racing's Indy Lights development squad to recruit him for the 2000 championship. With SDMS deciding not to engage in direct contract talks, Dixon accepted the offer from PacWest Racing, finalizing a five-year contract. The deal included a minimum of 15 days of testing with PacWest Racing's CART team in April 2000.

Dixon's talent and determination shone brightly during the 2000 season. He captured the Indy Lights championship title with an impressive 155 points, six victories, and eight top-four finishes. Dixon became the second-youngest champion in the series' history, second only to the legendary Greg Moore.

Scott Dixon Champ Car

Dixon made his debut in the CART series in 2001, taking over the No. 18 Reynard 01I-Toyota car previously driven by Mark Blundell. Prior to the season, his team advised him to gain weight, and he trained alongside teammate Maurício Gugelmin. Dixon had concerns about adapting to the longer CART races and developing effective race strategies. However, he quickly made his mark by winning the Lehigh Valley Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway in only his third career start. Notably, he drove 116 laps without refueling, becoming the youngest winner of a major open-wheel race at the age of 20. This victory was complemented by a podium finish at Milwaukee Mile and fourth-place finishes at Chicago Motor Speedway, Road America, and Laguna Seca. Dixon concluded the season in eighth place in the drivers' championship with 98 points and earned the Rookie of the Year award.

In the following year, Dixon continued racing with the renamed PWR Championship Racing team, which switched from Reynard to a Lola B02/00-Toyota. Notably, he did not commit to a long-term contract with the team, leaving open the possibility of switching to Formula One if he impressed teams during testing. Despite two top-ten finishes in the initial races at Monterrey and Motegi, financial difficulties forced PWR to disband. However, Dixon's talent did not go unnoticed, and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) signed him to drive their third car for the remainder of the season. This decision came after discussions involving Dixon's family, team owner Chip Ganassi, and engine manufacturer Toyota during preparations for the Indianapolis 500. Dixon quickly found compatibility with his teammates Bruno Junqueira and Kenny Bräck and familiarized himself with CGR's expectations. Throughout the season, he achieved nine top-ten finishes, including a second-place finish at the Grand Prix of Denver. Dixon ended the season in 13th place in the drivers' championship standings, accumulating 97 points.

Scott Dixon battles with Alex Zanardi at the Michigan Speedway (2001) © Photo4/Lat

Scott Dixon IndyCar Series

Dixon and CGR made the transition from CART to the IndyCar Series ahead of the 2003 season, driven by financial incentives and a desire to participate in the prestigious Indianapolis 500. Despite initial reservations due to his expertise in road courses, Dixon quickly adapted to the challenges of oval tracks. He secured a victory in his debut race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, leading the final laps. However, injuries sustained in a collision with Tony Kanaan at Motegi hindered his progress. In his first Indianapolis 500, he qualified fourth but ended up finishing 17th after losing control of his car. Dixon's season included consecutive wins at Pikes Peak International Raceway and Richmond International Raceway, along with several second-place finishes. He entered the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway as a title contender and finished second, surpassing the other contenders to claim the championship.

In the following season, Dixon achieved notable results, including a second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway and a fifth-place finish at Motegi. However, his Toyota engine lacked power compared to competitors with better-developed Honda engines, especially after a rule change that reduced engine sizes. Occasionally, Dixon's tendency to overdrive his car caused handling difficulties in corners.

Dixon continued with CGR for the 2005 season after signing a contract extension. He underwent eye implants to enhance his vision on oval circuits and fully focused on IndyCar racing. Despite some challenges at the start of the season, he secured a victory at the Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix, leading the race for a significant number of laps. Dixon finished 13th in the drivers' championship that year.

In 2006, CGR switched from the underpowered Toyota engine to the more potent Honda engine. Dixon concentrated on improving his performance on oval tracks and learned valuable insights from teammate Dan Wheldon. He started the season with back-to-back second-place finishes and qualified fourth at the Indianapolis 500. Although a penalty for blocking hindered his chances, he managed to secure a victory at the wet-weather Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix. In the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Speedway, Dixon emerged victorious by a margin of 0.1176 seconds after leading the final laps. Heading into the season-ending Peak Antifreeze Indy 300, Dixon was one of the contenders for the championship but finished second overall with 460 points.

In the 2007 season, Dixon made an impressive start with multiple podium finishes and solid fourth-place finishes in the early rounds. He secured the fourth position in the qualifying for the prestigious Indianapolis 500 and went on to finish second in the rain-shortened race.

Dixon's outstanding performance continued as he achieved a remarkable feat of winning three consecutive races at Watkins Glen, Nashville, and Mid-Ohio. This achievement equaled the series record previously set by Bräck and Wheldon. His victories significantly narrowed the points gap between him and Dario Franchitti, reducing it from 65 to 24.

At the Motorola Indy 300 in Sonoma, Dixon emerged triumphant after overtaking Franchitti's damaged car late in the race, thereby taking the championship lead. With just three points fewer than Franchitti, Dixon entered the season-ending Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 in Chicago as the second overall contender. Alongside two other competitors, he had a mathematical chance of claiming the drivers' championship. However, in a heart-wrenching turn of events on the final lap of the race, Dixon's car ran out of fuel while leading. Consequently, he finished as the runner-up to Franchitti, accumulating a total of 624 points.

2008: Scott Dixons wins the Indy500 and claims second IndyCar title

In the 2008 season, Dixon made a return to CGR and started strong by winning the Gainsco Auto Insurance Indy 300 at Homestead from pole position. He secured two third-place finishes at Motegi and Kansas Speedway, followed by a remarkable victory in the prestigious Indianapolis 500. This marked his first and only win in the iconic race, leading an impressive 115 laps from pole position.

Scott Dixon wins the 2008 Indianapolis 500 © Dana Garrett

Continuing his winning momentum, Dixon claimed victory at the Bombardier Learjet 550 in Texas and the rain-shortened Firestone Indy 200 in Nashville. He achieved back-to-back wins at the Rexall Edmonton Indy and the Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky, dominating the latter race by leading 151 laps from pole position after Castroneves ran out of fuel on the final lap. Dixon entered the season-ending Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 with a 30-point lead over Castroneves, eventually securing his second series title by finishing a mere 0.0033 seconds behind the race winner.

Scott Dixon in 2009

In the 2009 season, Dixon defended his title while racing for CGR. Despite a couple of subpar races, he showcased his prowess by leading 134 laps and winning the RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas. Dixon's victories continued with the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 at Milwaukee, where he took the championship lead. He equaled Sam Hornish Jr.'s series record career wins with his 19th victory at the SunTrust Indy Challenge in Richmond, leading an impressive 161 laps. After consistent finishes at Watkins Glen and Edmonton, Dixon secured his fourth win of the season in the Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio, breaking Hornish's all-time victory record. His final triumph of 2009 came in the Indy Japan 300 at Motegi, leading 139 laps from pole position.

Entering the season-ending Firestone Indy 300, Dixon was among three drivers in contention for the championship. Ultimately, he finished third in the race, securing the runner-up position in the championship behind his teammate Franchitti, with a total of 605 points.

In the 2010 season, Dixon started strong with three top-seven finishes in the first four races. He went on to lead 167 laps and secure a consecutive victory at the RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 in Kansas. After a series of top-eight finishes, he claimed another win at the Honda Indy Edmonton, benefiting from Castroneves' blocking penalty. Throughout the season, Dixon consistently finished no lower than eighth in the subsequent rounds, including a second-place finish at Sonoma Raceway. While he was mathematically eliminated from championship contention after finishing sixth in the Indy Japan 300 at Motegi, Dixon concluded the season on a high note by winning the 2010 Cafés do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead, ultimately securing third place overall with 547 points.

Moving on to the 2011 championship, Dixon once again drove for CGR. In the first eleven races of the season, he achieved seven top-ten finishes, including second-place results at Barber Motorsports Park, the Texas doubleheader, and Toronto. Dixon displayed his prowess by winning the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio for the third time, leading 50 laps from pole position. He continued his strong performance by leading 62 laps from pole position and claiming victory at the Indy Japan: The Final in Motegi. Despite not winning any ovals in 2011, Dixon's third-place finish at the Kentucky Indy 300 allowed him to beat Franchitti and claim the A. J. Foyt Oval Trophy. In the Drivers' Championship, he secured third place with 518 points.

Peak Performance Pole Award Winner Scott Dixon at Indy Japan 2011 © LAT Images

In the 2012 season, Dixon competed for CGR, but his performance was hampered by engine reliability issues. Despite the challenges, he achieved second-place finishes in three of the first five races, including St. Petersburg, Barber, and the Indianapolis 500. Dixon's notable victory came at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, where he led every lap from pole position. He secured his second win of the season at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio after qualifying fourth. Finishing fourth in the Grand Prix of Baltimore, Dixon remained in contention for the drivers' championship, trailing the leader by 53 points. He concluded the season in third place overall after the season-ending MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships at Auto Club Speedway.

Dixon stays at CGR

Dixon extended his contract with CGR for three more years, covering the 2013 season until the end of the 2015 championship. Despite his Honda-powered car having less power than its Chevrolet counterparts, Dixon displayed consistency by achieving multiple second-place finishes in the first ten rounds of the season. His first victory of the season came at the Pocono IndyCar 400, holding off teammate Charlie Kimball. Dixon continued his success by winning both races of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader and securing the first race of the Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader. With these strong performances, he clinched his third series title with 577 points.

In the 2014 season, Dixon switched to a Chevrolet-powered car as CGR aligned its IndyCar and NASCAR teams with the same engine manufacturer. However, the new engines presented challenges, such as power delivery issues, exaggerated shock/damper setup problems, and traction issues upon exiting corners. Despite these obstacles, Dixon achieved a third-place finish at Barber and consistent top-ten finishes throughout the season. He secured a win at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio after starting 22nd and overtook Mike Conway to claim victory at the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Dixon finished third in the championship standings with 604 points after the season finale at Auto Club Speedway.

For the 2015 season, Dixon continued with CGR and showcased his talent by winning the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach after leading 44 laps. He also started on pole position at the Indianapolis 500 and led 84 laps before settling for fourth place. Dixon secured his second win of the season at the Firestone 600 in Texas by leading 97 laps. Throughout the remainder of the season, he consistently finished fifth, including a pole position at the Iowa race. Dixon entered the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma as one of the six drivers vying for the championship. He clinched the race victory and his fourth championship title, edging out Juan Pablo Montoya based on the number of wins.

In the 2016 season, Dixon continued to drive for CGR after signing a three-year contract extension. However, the team was overshadowed by Penske in terms of engineering capabilities. Dixon's season started on a high note as he secured a victory at the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, leading the final 155 laps. This win set a series record with 12 consecutive seasons of victories. Despite facing some reliability issues that resulted in three non-finishes, as well as an accident with Castroneves at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Dixon managed to achieve eight top-ten finishes in the next twelve races. He emerged victorious at the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen after starting from pole position and leading 50 laps. With 477 points and a 17th-place finish at Sonoma, Dixon ended the season in sixth place in the Drivers' Championship. This marked the first time since 2005 that he finished outside the top three in points.

In preparation for the 2017 season, CGR switched back to Honda engines after three seasons with Chevrolet. Dixon's early races saw consistent performances, with third-place finishes at St. Petersburg, Barber, and the Indianapolis road course. He secured pole position for the prestigious Indianapolis 500 but unfortunately crashed into the inside barrier after colliding with Jay Howard's car. Fortunately, neither Dixon nor Howard sustained injuries. Dixon took the championship lead by finishing second in the first race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader and later claimed victory at the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America. He maintained a top-ten finish streak for the next six races, including consecutive second-place finishes at Gateway Motorsports Park and Watkins Glen. Heading into the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Dixon was only three points behind championship leader Josef Newgarden. He ultimately finished fourth in the race, securing third place in the final championship standings with 621 points.

In the 2018 season, Dixon drove a car equipped with a new universal aerodynamic car package, ensuring no technical disadvantage compared to Penske. He achieved five top-ten finishes, including back-to-back podiums at the Indianapolis road course and the Indianapolis 500 within the first six races. Dixon emerged victorious in the first race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader, leading 39 laps. He then dominated the DXC Technology 600 at Texas by leading the final 119 laps, taking the championship lead two races later. Three races after Texas, Dixon secured his third and final win of the season at the Honda Indy Toronto. In the remaining five races, he consistently finished no lower than fifth and even claimed pole position at Gateway. Dixon clinched his fifth IndyCar championship by finishing second in the season-ending Grand Prix of Sonoma, accumulating 678 points.

Dixon made headlines in 2019 when he rejected an offer from McLaren CEO Zak Brown to join the brand's IndyCar team and instead signed a multi-year contract extension with CGR until the end of the 2023 season. In the 2019 championship, Dixon started strong with four podium finishes in the first seven races, including St. Petersburg, Barber, Long Beach, and the Indianapolis road course. He secured another victory at the second race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader after starting from the sixth position. Throughout the season, Dixon achieved four top-five finishes and emerged victorious for the second time at Mid-Ohio's Honda Indy 200. He concluded the season in fourth place in the Drivers' Championship standings with 578 points, earning podium finishes at Pocono and Laguna Seca.

The 2020 season faced disruptions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a delay and a shortened schedule of 14 events. Dixon prepared for the season at home due to Indiana's lockdown. He kicked off the season by qualifying second and leading 157 of 200 laps at the Genesys 300 in Texas, matching A.J. Foyt's record of 18 seasons with a victory. Dixon continued his winning streak by claiming the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis road course and the first race of the REV Group Grand Prix doubleheader at Road America. He secured second place in the first race of the Iowa doubleheader and led the most laps in the Indianapolis 500. Dixon celebrated his 50th career win in the opening round of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 doubleheader at Gateway. He consistently finished in the top ten in the remaining five races and clinched his sixth drivers' championship by a 16-point margin over Newgarden in the season-ending Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, finishing third.

In the 2021 championship, Dixon began with solid performances, securing a fifth-place finish at Barber and a third-place finish in St. Petersburg. He showcased his dominance in the first race of the Genesys 300 doubleheader at Texas, starting from third and leading an impressive 206 out of 212 laps to claim his sole victory of the year. This win not only propelled him into the championship lead but also marked his 19th season with a race win, surpassing A.J. Foyt's record. Dixon continued to demonstrate his prowess by capturing pole positions in the second Genesys 300 race and the prestigious Indianapolis 500. However, he lost the championship lead to his teammate Alex Palou. Despite this setback, Dixon achieved three more podium finishes and four top-ten results, ultimately concluding the season in fourth place in the point standings with 481 points.

In the 2022 season, Dixon maintained consistent performances by securing top-ten finishes in the first five races, with his best result being a fifth-place finish at Texas. He showcased his speed by qualifying on pole for the fifth time at the prestigious Indianapolis 500, leading 95 laps. However, a drive-through penalty for slight overspeeding in the pit lane during his final pit stop prevented him from claiming victory in the race. Nevertheless, Dixon bounced back by winning his fourth Toronto race, leading 40 laps in the Honda Indy Toronto. He further solidified his success by triumphing at the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville. Heading into the season finale at Laguna Seca, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey, Dixon was one of the five drivers still in contention for the championship. Unfortunately, he struggled with lack of speed in the race, finishing 12th and concluding the championship in fourth place with 521 points.

The 2023 season kicked off positively for Dixon with a third-place finish at St. Petersburg and consistent top-ten performances in three of the subsequent four races. However, a rare retirement following contact with Pato O'Ward at Long Beach hindered Dixon's accumulation of championship points, placing him at a disadvantage.

Scott Dixon Indy 500

As mentioned earlier, Dixon only won the Indy 500 once. This occurred in 2008. Despite starting from the first position five times, he was only able to convert one of his five pole positions into a podium finish.

Scott Dixon Indy 500 Crash

During the 2017 Indy 500, Dixon was involved in a massive crash where he narrowly escaped serious injury. The incident unfolded when Jay Howard, driving for Schmidt Peterson, lost control and collided with the outside wall at Turn 1. This caused his car to veer into the path of Scott Dixon's Ganassi Dallara-Honda. With no room to maneuver, Dixon's car was propelled into the air, soaring over Howard's vehicle. The impact resulted in Dixon landing on top of the inside SAFER Barrier, causing damage to the fence. The rear section of Dixon's car was completely detached from the rest of the vehicle. Fortunately, Helio Castroneves narrowly avoided the wreckage by maneuvering underneath Dixon's car and driving through the grass. Both Dixon and Howard were able to exit their cars unharmed. A nearby photographer was taken for examination as a precautionary measure. The race was immediately halted and the necessary repairs were made to the barrier and fencing. Howard, who was already laps behind due to fuel and electrical issues, attributed the incident to Ryan Hunter-Reay pushing him wide, after being evaluated and released from the infield care center. Fortunately, Dixon walked away from the incident without any lasting harm.

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