Scott Dixon

Championship standings || Firestone 600 box score

FORT WORTH, Texas – Is this the emergence of another Scott Dixon’s second-half surge?

Dixon’s decisive victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway – the ninth of 16 Verizon IndyCar Series races – was his second of the season and 37th of his Indy car career.

Additionally, and potentially more importantly, it drew him 20 points closer to championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya, who now takes a 35-point advantage over Team Penske teammate Will Power into the Honda Indy Toronto on June 14. Dixon is 43 points back with a bullet.

Since the 2010 season, Dixon has amassed 15 victories. Twelve have been secured in the second half, which would make the Indianapolis resident – in NFL parlance – a clutch performer. In 2013, he won four of the final nine races of the 19-event season on the way to earning his third Indy car title.

“We would obviously like to start the season stronger. I would say right now this is one of our better ones, even though we had a pretty awful start with the first two races,'' said Dixon, who didn't win until at least the 10th race three of the past five seasons.

The Honda Indy Toronto is up next on the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place circuit, where Dixon swept a doubleheader in 2013. Two short oval races, two on superspeedways and a pair on natural-terrain road courses follow. Dixon has won at five of those seven venues.

“This team has got a lot of resources,” Dixon continued. “You know you're going to have a shot at winning each weekend you go to. But the competition, the Verizon IndyCar Series, is through the roof. Especially now with four Penskes and four legitimate drivers that they've got in their stable, it's pretty tough.

“Right now it's a good start for us, kind of mid-seasonish.  But still a long ways to go. A lot of competition out there. We're not going to obviously dwell on this (victory) too much. We have next weekend, and obviously we want to do well there. What we'll try to do is carry some momentum from this race on to the next.”