Today’s question: Which statistic of Scott Dixon’s remarkable INDYCAR SERIES career is most impressive?
Curt Cavin: I was inclined to go with Dixon’s consecutive starts streak, because I remember that mid-July weekend in Milwaukee when he crashed on consecutive days – consecutive laps if I remember correctly – and was held out of the race. But then I remembered that he didn’t win a race that season, something that hasn’t happened since. That’s 19 straight seasons with at least one win. That’s mind-boggling! Ryan Hunter-Reay only has 18 career wins in this series. Danny Sullivan and Tony Kanaan had 17, Dan Wheldon 16. For all the exploits of Alex Zanardi and Juan Pablo Montoya, they only won 15 races in this series. Keep in mind that Dixie just turned 43, wants to keep going, and the team he drives for surely will be a contender in 2024. So, his streak likely will swell to 20. Yes, Will Power can get to 17 straight years if he wins one of the next three races, but after that the longest active streak is Josef Newgarden at eight! It’s not a stretch to say this record might never be broken.
Joey Barnes: There are several staggering achievements in Dixon’s legendary career, including Curt’s choice of consecutive seasons with a win. I’m looking more at the fact that in 382 career starts, he has stood on the podium 134 times. That’s a remarkable percentage of just over 35 percent (35.0785, to be exact)! And for anyone wondering, his 200 top-fives puts the mark over 52 percent. While the 54 victories obviously played a large part in establishing the Kiwi, his run of consistency, in my opinion, is what deteriorated the confidence of his rivals. After all, it’s how “Dixon doing Dixon things” became a mantra in the paddock.
Paul Kelly: My colleague and friend Arni Sribhen and I discussed this very question recently one night, and we both came back to this number: Scott Dixon has finished in the top five 200 times during his career. There are only 28 INDYCAR SERIES drivers since 1946 who have made that many starts! As Joey said, that top-five strike rate of 52.4 percent melts the mind. To put that mind-boggling stat into further perspective, do you know how many drivers have a top-five strike rate over 52.4 percent just this season? Two – Alex Palou with 11 (78.6 percent) and Dixon with eight (57.1 percent) after 14 races. Yet Dixon has averaged 52.4 percent after 382 races. Simply incredible.