Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda driver Scott Dixon has thrown himself into the pole position for the Indy 500 after an absolutely outstanding top speed.
Take the raw horsepower of Formula One, throw it onto the oval, and you get the Indianapolis 500. That’s an incredibly narrow way to look at it, but the point remains, the sheer power at which the Indy 500 boys go tearing around the track is certainly next – level. If they keep this sort of performance up, we may see the sport have to deal with the inevitable sound-barrier issue that will come up down the road. Until then, however, we’ll take Scott Dixon’s 232.295 MPH.
Dixon’s pole-position-worthy speed has put forth a speed on the oval unlike which hasn’t been seen since Arie Luyendyk ripped the track a new one back in 1996 with a speed of 237 MPH. Dixon was understandably over-the-moon with his performance, admitting that he believed the team had trimmed the car down far too much before taking it out for a spin. Although Dixon took a moment to relish his accomplishment, he was quick to warn that an excellent qualifying bout was not indicative of race performance, and that the team’s true challenge lies just up ahead:
“Conditions were a bit better today, and we took a bit of a gamble trimming out. It feels damn good. Chris [Simmons, race engineer] trimmed the car, and even before we went out there I said ‘Man, I think we’ve trimmed the car too much’ and I did have to lift a little bit.
But that first lap was huge. I can’t thank the team enough.
The emotions that you get at Indianapolis are just crazy. Obviously, this is job one. The real deal comes up in a week’s time. The pole is its own race, its own deal, its own weekend.
The significance of winning the pole is big, but obviously, we’re here to win the race. In 2008, we won from the pole, so hopefully we can replicate that year.” – Scott Dixon
— IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) May 22, 2017
Dixon has always shown himself to be an incredibly capable driver, and to see him go forth to the Indy 500 in blazes is quite the feat. So much hype has and attention has been lumped on Fernando Alonso and his participation in the Indy 500 that, for a moment, it seemed as if the only driver to be out on the oval was going to be Alonso. Although didn’t place as high up on the pecking order as he would have liked, a P5 result from the Spaniard is not a bad showing at all – considering just how much catch-up he’s been having to play against guys that have grown up on the oval.
As we head into the last week before the big race, tensions are certainly going to mount. With all drivers focusing on the win for themselves, the friendly atmosphere of testing and qualifying will be flung out the window, and only the best driver will emerge victorious.