Long Beach Luck Goes In Favor For Scott Dixon, 10 Shy of Foyt

Scott Dixon did the impossible and overcame the system to grab win #57.
Indy Car Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon (9) of New...
Indy Car Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon (9) of New... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Scott Dixon overcame all the odds that were against him at Long Beach to grab his 57th win of his career, 10 shy of the record held by AJ Foyt.

Dixon had strong race pace, even under a fuel management situation. But, Josef Newgarden was right on Dixon tails until he got a savior in the form of Colton Herta.

Dixon was able to pull away just enough to grab the race win in what seemed like an unlikely situation for the #9 team, capping off a top podium sweep for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Dixon's Different

How Scott Dixon was able to complete the race with enough fuel is one thing but to be able to cross the finish line and take the race win is another.

While the Kiwi got some help from the race incident between Herta & Newgarden, Dixon's ability to conserve fuel while still using push to pass was remarkable.

Newgarden stated in a post-race interview that it was going to be tough to make a pass on Dixon given the clean air but one must wonder what could have been if Newgarden was in striking distance on the New Zelander.

Nevertheless. Scott Dixon took a risk when using push to pass but he knew when to use it.

He used the beneficiary on Shoreline Blvd, the course's main straightaway which allowed him to still conserve his fuel usage while also adding a bit of speed.

Dixon was in defense mode and if there is anyone who can fight for a win, it's Dixon but it seemed like this time around was tough.

Newgarden probably would have been in enough range to make a clean pass on the Kiwi, but Dixon lucked out big time and proved us wrong again.

To Penalize or Not To Penalize

The Herta/Newgarden incident at the hairpin was truly the turning point on the weekend.

Herta bumped his right front wing into the back of Newgarden, causing the gearbox to go into an anti-stall.

Unfortunately, that did no favors for the defending Indy 500 champion, putting Herta into a podium and dropping Josef to 4th.

The only question is: Was That Legal?

The segment of the circuit has been a catalyst for in-race incidents given how tight of a turn that is towards the front end of the circuit.

While Tim Cindric and Josef Newgarden were both looking for a potential in-race penalty to be handed to Herta, there was just no way it could happen.

While there were two sides to the argument, that portion of the track is so tricky to manuever around that incidents such as that can happen.

While the final few pushes from Herta seemed extensive, those first few bumps to the rear of Newgarden's Chevrolet were not incedential.

James Hinchcliffe agreed on the ultimate decision, stating that half the field would be put on the spot if incidents such as that were penalized.

Post-race saw both Newgarden and Herta talk things over, unaware of what was said between both drivers, but story to be told, it could be a race incidnet that comes back to bite Herta at another race down the road.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it was a gutsy victory for Scott Dixon.

Give credit to the team and Dixon to precisely strategize their fuel saving run to the top of the podium in what was a difficult task for the veteran.

While this race win doesn't give Dixon a championship points lead in the series, he did inch closer to Foyt which now seems doable to surpase.

While it is virtually impossible this season, there is a shot that Dixon could find his rhythm and surpass the now team owner for 2025 or even 2026 if so.

It is a quick turnaround though for the #9 and the rest of the grid as the series heads back to the east coast to hit Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.