The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a natural road circuit, common in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. But the track has a unique fingerprint that creates difficulties and challenges for drivers.
With 13 turns over its 2.258 miles, navigating the course itself is no easy feat, especially when you look at the corners. The race starts with the long, flat 90-degree left at Turn 1, followed quickly by a sequence of two right turns known as the Keyhole. Then the track goes onward into a series of other challenging turns over undulating terrain.
If there’s one driver who has passed the test of Mid-Ohio more than any other, it’s six-time series champion Scott Dixon. He is the winningest driver at the track in INDYCAR SERIES history, with a whopping six victories.
That success has prompted many to call Dixon the king of Mid-Ohio, a rightly deserved title.
And the king could sure use another jewel in his crown this weekend, as he’s in an uncharacteristic drought.
Dixon enters The Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the All-New 2023 Honda Civic Type R this weekend winless since he captured the first race of a doubleheader on May 1, 2021 – 14 months and 22 starts ago – in his No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. It’s the longest dry spell of his legendary career since 2005, when a victory at Watkins Glen ended a 39-start winless streak.
But Dixon is a legend, and he knows every driver faces ups and downs on their journey. So, he knows a peak is bound to come soon.
“I think at some points we’re overtrying, and it’s easy in this scenario where it’s not as relaxed or rolling as smoothly as it could be, that whether it’s me or the team or the adjustments that we make, we just may be going over the top,” Dixon said. “We’ve just got to find our groove.”
Despite these difficulties, Dixon has chosen not to let such droughts hinder him. Instead, just as he anticipates the turns on the Mid-Ohio track, he is relishing the next turning point in his career.
“I was hoping that the Indy 500 was going to be that turn and kick that we needed, but yeah, it’s been an interesting year, lots of ups and downs and some missed opportunities,” Dixon said. “We’ll keep after it.”
Dixon has raced in the INDYCAR SERIES since 2001, when he was 20. Now just three weeks shy of his 42nd birthday, that experience and maturity have helped him understand drastic changes and panic are not the path to success.
“I don’t think you really want to try and change anything,” Dixon said. “There’s no more emphasis. I think you’re giving 100 percent each weekend, no matter what it is and trying to win. If you get a bit of luck, that always helps.”
So, Dixon plans to maintain a positive outlook and continue to perform as best he can each race. No matter the outcome, though, he is not alone.
“We win and lose as a team, and I can tell you that everybody right now is giving 100 percent, and hopefully we can find our stride here shortly,” Dixon said.