FORT WORTH, Texas – Scott Dixon led an all-star lineup for the annual media day festivities at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday.
The reigning and five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion was joined by NASCAR national series competitors Ryan Blaney (Cup), Erik Jones (Cup), Cole Custer (Xfinity) and Sheldon Creed (Trucks).
The event was all part of the lead-up to a variety of races for one of the premier tracks in the United States. As the defending race winner of the DXC Technology 600, Dixon was on hand to promote this year’s edition of the traditional Saturday night classic, which is set for June 8.
The introduction of last year’s universal aero kit made mastering the 1.5-mile superspeedway even more difficult than normal. However, the 38-year-old New Zealander is keen to repeat his success from last year when, despite starting seventh, he charged forward to lead 119 of 248 laps and claim his third victory at TMS.
Dixon takes pride in his win at TMS, which has been on the NTT IndyCar Series schedule since 1997 and is one of the cornerstone races.
“It is a staple,” said Dixon, driver of the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. “I think for us, the track has changed a little bit since I first came here, the racing's changed a ton, too. We've had the occasional year where maybe it's a little spread out, but this is iconic racing that we've had here for many years.”
Dixon added that many INDYCAR drivers point to Texas as a highly desired race to win, in part for the victory lane ceremonies that include the winner firing six-shooters filled with blanks.
“There is no cooler winner's circle than here,” he said. “I'm from New Zealand. We don't have guns and we don't have cowboy hats, so to think I'm a cowboy for at least an hour (after winning) is pretty amazing and shoot some guns.”
Sitting third on the all-time Indy car wins list with 44 victories and second all-time with five championships, Dixon may be the quietest legend in the history of racing. Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, agreed.
“Scott is probably the most under-appreciated IndyCar driver I've ever been around,” said Gossage. “He is an amazing talent. You look at it his win list and now he's up there with Johnny Rutherford, a little bit ahead of Johnny now, right there with A.J. (Foyt) and Mario (Andretti) and is knocking on the door of that kind of greatness.
“(The) thing I like about him is he's just a hard racer. That's all he is. He's a racer and that's a great thing. I just don't think he gets the attention he should get, nationally here in the U.S. and around the globe because I think he's a world-class talent.
“He could have gone to Formula 1 if he wanted it to, and I think he would have had great success, but the combination of courses you race on the in the IndyCar Series, you've got to be good. And he's been good for a long, long time.”
Tickets for the DXC Technology 600 in June are available on the TMS website. The race airs live at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, June 8 on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.