Dixon takes first step to erasing Long Beach kryptonite with P3 in qualifying

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – Yes, it’s only one qualifying session. But third on Saturday for Scott Dixon at his personal house of horrors – Long Beach – is a step in the right direction for him to actually get a result at what has been, statistically, his worst career track.

In eight prior starts, Dixon has only one top-10 finish, a fourth in 2010. A year ago he was 12th after a late race splash for fuel when leading.

“It seems really good. The Target car rolled off really well, better than we normally do,” Dixon, who’s back in his usual red No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet this week, told NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast post-qualifying.

“I’m really proud of everyone on the Target team for getting it going. We were very good on the (Firestone) blacks. I hoped for more on the reds.”

Dixon noted his unlucky run of results at Long Beach, and reflected on how he hopes to finally shake the monkey off his back on Sunday.

“I want to win here,” he said. “Here and St. Pete have been the thorn in the side for a few years. Hopefully we get some good mileage out of the Chevy, and look for a podium I hope.”

Dixon enters the weekend only 15th in points, after finishes of 15th and 11th in the first two races. On the bright side, he’s only 10 points behind Simona de Silvestro in sixth place in points, who is not racing here in Long Beach this weekend.