Scott Dixon

Note: The Penske Entertainment editorial staff is looking back at the 10 biggest moments of 2023 in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in this year-end series, with one installment appearing on the site per day in countdown fashion from Dec. 22-31.

There are few certainties in racing, but one almost sure thing exists in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES: Scott Dixon doing Scott Dixon things.

Dixon won three of the last four races of the 2023 season after going winless for the first 13 races, putting in jeopardy his streak of 18 consecutive seasons with at least one victory. And all three of those late-season wins came in unlikely fashion.

The record streak extended to 19 consecutive years with a victory on a sun-splashed afternoon in August on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, also on a day when Dixon set an INDYCAR SERIES “ironman” record with his 319th consecutive start.

Six-time INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon overcame being spun into the infield grass by contact in a Lap 1 incident and used great strategy from his pit box to hold off pole sitter Graham Rahal by .4779 of a second for the closest finish in Gallagher Grand Prix history.

Two weeks later, he did it again.

Dixon’s team elected to take the engine swap prior to the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline at World Wide Technology Raceway, which resulted in a nine-spot penalty and dropped him from seventh to 16th on the starting grid.

WWTR rewards track position like few other circuits in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Eight of the last nine winners on the 1.25-mile oval came from the top five of the starting lineup, so a top-five result would have felt like a victory to Dixon.

But this is Scott Dixon we’re talking about here. Dixon used one fewer pit stops than any other driver in the 27-car field and beat Pato O’Ward by 22.2256 seconds.

“Yeah, Scott Dixon decided to do a Dixon today,” O’Ward said. “Whenever they told me he’s going to try to make it without stopping again, the guy’s going to do it, for sure. He just does it. He’s just Scott Dixon, you know? I feel like that’s what he’s best known for.

“He knows how to do it better than anybody with a great combination that he has with his team and car and everything. It’s a bummer that we weren’t even close to kind of even race him.”

In the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Dixon overcame a grid penalty for an engine swap after the morning warmup and an avoidable contact penalty from a first-lap incident to come from behind to score another victory, the 56th of his illustrious career.

“Yeah, it was a wild day,” Dixon said. “I think the morning kind of was tough, just to start off with a bit of a failure, then obviously getting a grid penalty wasn’t the way you wanted to start the day.

“I think we had done a good job in qualifying, which would have put us in a good spot to obviously fight for the lead on more of a straightforward race.

“It was a tough race. But worked out for us. Strategy, we just tried to keep it simple, kind of working from the back end of the race.

“All in all, great day. It’s nice to rebound like we did. Definitely some heated moments throughout the race. Pretty pissed off at times. It’s always nice to finish the year like that.”