The Texas heat gave the Verizon IndyCar® Series a warm welcome at Texas Motor Speedway, but the rising temperatures still weren’t as hot as Scott Dixon.
The veteran Chip Ganassi Racing driver led the final 119 laps in winning the DXC Technology 600 (June 9), marking his second win in the last three races and his fifth straight top five finish. It was the 43rd victory of Dixon’s career, moving him past Michael Andretti into sole possession of third place on the all-time Indy car wins list. Only A.J. Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52) have more victories.
A recent repave and reconfiguration of Texas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval, along with track temperatures that routinely hit triple digits, makes this race one of the toughest tests for drivers, cars and tires.
Firestone Race Tire Engineering developed new tires for this year’s race that featured softer compounds designed to deliver more heat resistance. As an additional countermeasure, all drivers were asked to “scuff” at least four sets of tires during practice, putting them through a heat cycle to help reduce blistering. These tires were the first to be used during the race when temperatures were at their peak. While teams experienced some blistering, the tires did their job.
“The Firestones were fantastic. We ran all the way to the end until we were out of fuel, and I haven't done that in Texas in quite some time,” Dixon said. “The PNC Bank car and the Firestone tires did a hell of a job. They brought a new tire here, tricky conditions as always, but we were able to put on a fantastic race."
Runner-up Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) and third-place finisher Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) joined Dixon on the podium. James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Racing) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport) rounded out the top five.
With the win, Dixon takes over the lead in the driver point standings with 357 points. He sits 23 points ahead of Rossi (334 points) in second place and 36 points ahead of Team Penske’s Will Power (321 points) in third. Hunter-Reay (308 points) and Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden (289 points) rank fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Firestone Racing team heads to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin in two weeks. Tune into NBC Sports Network Sunday, June 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. CT to see who will take the checkered flag at the KOHLER Grand Prix.