Scott Dixon seeks motorsports milestone seventh championship

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Scott Dixon seems across the IndyCar paddock and sees drivers half his age performing like A.J. Foyt even when they’ve by no means crossed the end line first.

They’re younger and brash with the identical swagger of “Tremendous Tex,” the winningest driver in IndyCar historical past.

“Most of them rock up today feeling, you already know, it looks as if they’ve received every thing on the planet already, you already know?” Dixon mentioned Friday. “You positively see the altering of the guard, which is all the time attention-grabbing.”

The Iceman isn’t able to go the torch anytime quickly. Dixon begins his twenty first season in IndyCar with Sunday’s season-opening race at Barber Motorsports Park in pursuit of Foyt’s all-time marks.

The six-time champion wants only one extra title to tie Foyt’s file of seven and his 50 profession victories path solely Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52) within the file books. Will Energy and Sebastien Bourdais at 39 wins every are the one energetic drivers even remotely in Dixon’s class.

And but these trophies and numbers and his twenty years of dominance don’t drive Dixon the way in which they as soon as did. Don’t get him unsuitable — he likes to win. However dropping sticks with him a complete lot longer than a victory celebration.

He led wire-to-wire final 12 months in profitable his sixth title, however these celebratory moments had been fleeting.

“It’s good to have victories nevertheless it’s not one thing I actually dwell on an excessive amount of,” Dixon mentioned. “The laborious half is all the time all of the stuff you keep in mind the a lot of the shut misses. I believe that’s the a part of what drives you. I don’t go to mattress eager about how nice it was to win a sixth championship. However I do go to mattress eager about how shut we misplaced the Indy 500 final 12 months. That’s what retains the fireplace robust.”

Dixon is now in pursuit of motorsports’ magical quantity: Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton each received seven Formulation One titles, whereas Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson every received seven in NASCAR. Foyt is alone in IndyCar.

However time isn’t on Dixon’s facet.

He turns 41 in July and though he has received two of the final three championships, he has by no means received back-to-back titles and guesses he has 5 good years left in his profession. Group proprietor Chip Ganassi famous that Alex Palou, the 24-year-old second-year IndyCar driver, was the quickest of the 4 Ganassi drivers in preseason testing and may very properly be the one Dixon has to beat this 12 months.

Dixon thinks he’s up for the problem and finds that very similar to Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, who at 43 received his sixth Tremendous Bowl in February, he’s in the most effective bodily form of his life. His cardio and energy coaching has developed during the last decade, and he mentioned he doesn’t have an incredible gauge on his response speeds “as a result of I nonetheless go my assessments, in order that’s factor.”

His largest problem, he’s discovered, has been time administration since he and spouse, Emma, determined to develop their household final 12 months. They welcomed a 3rd little one — their solely son — a decade after beginning their household.

Package Dixon has been an eye-opening adjustment after two daughters as a result of each crash, bang and fall creates a momentary panic just for the toddler to bounce again up and get again on his manner.

“He positively loves journey and has a fairly excessive ache tolerance,” Dixon mentioned. “It’s very completely different from the ladies.”

This weekend would be the first race for father and son, a second Dixon can’t wait to share along with his little boy.

“I took him to a go-kart race as soon as and his eyes had been coming out of his head, so I’m actually wanting ahead to taking him out and displaying him vehicles on the observe,” Dixon mentioned. “I believe that is going to be a really enjoyable 12 months for our household.”

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Extra AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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