TORONTO, Ontario — Before the 2017 season when Chip Ganassi Racing announced they would be switching manufacturers, concerns amounted about whether they would be successful, considering Chevrolet won all but two races last year.
With five races in the books and a top-five each week, those worries seem unwarranted for Scott Dixon as things are going well.
“It’s been strong,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “I think we were a little shocked with our speed right out of the gate, especially at St. Pete. I think the off-season with the manufacture in going back to Honda, it’s been really good for (the) general mindset.”
Dixon feels the team having “a new toy” to focus on has helped to rejuvenate them placing sixth in points last year.
“We’ve had to change a lot of the ways we would do certain things just because of the way that this aero kit works,” he said. “We’ve had to re-write the way we do things, which I think has been fundamentally really important for the success that we’ve had.”
The momentum has kept on rolling, as Dixon will lead the field to green on Sunday for the Indianapolis 500.
“I think to achieve that is like it’s own little race, and I think you get bragging rights for a few days,” he said. “But in general, it doesn’t guarantee you anything. It just guarantees that you start there. I think it’s important for the team in many ways with the development programs and what we do in the off-season specifically for qualifying at Indianapolis. So I think it’s good for morale and gets the team all pumped up after qualifying, which is great to see.”
Dixon knows how to run well at Indy, having won the event previously and posting four top-fives in the last seven editions.
“It’s always daunting on one side, but excitement as well,” he said. “I think this is something that every year you set two goals – first is to win the 500, second is to win the championship, and you talk about it a lot. So it’s nice that it’s finally here.”
There’s also confidence in his No. 9 Camping World Dallara-Honda after practice, believing his team is almost at where they want to be going into Sunday.
“We had a couple of issues in the last few runs, which we’re working on figuring out what happened,” he said. “But outside of that, I think we’re pretty confident. The unfortunate part is there are some very strong cars out there. It’s going to be a one helluva race.”
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