Getty Images

Dixon’s Road America livery is as eye-popping as his travel schedule

Leave a comment

So let’s recap the last nine days for the driver of the guy Chip Ganassi Racing Teams president Steve Lauletta is now calling “Freak 9” on Twitter, the driver of the No. 9 car in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Scott Dixon.

It’s usually the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, but it will shift to Clorox yellow colors this week.

And quite how it got there almost mirrors how crazy his last nine days have been.

Dixon raced in what he thought would be a full Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, June 12, which was already delayed a day anyway owing to a track that wouldn’t dry following a day of rain.

He and wife Emma then boarded a Cessna plane to go to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he’d need to arrive by Monday, June 13, French time to ensure he made it to scrutineering (technical inspection) and get checked in for the week. He missed the team shoot on Sunday, as did Sebastien Bourdais – no matter.

Wednesday, June 15, he took his first ever laps of the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe, because although he’d gone to France earlier this year for simulator work, he’d not actually driven on the track yet. He missed the Le Mans Test Day on June 5 because of his IndyCar commitments at Detroit, where he promptly took a car with a broken suspension and drove it all race to finish fifth.

He was on track at Le Mans through June 19, the end of the race, where together with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook he finished third in the GTE-Pro class in the No. 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team US Ford GT. For good measure, the Le Mans rookie promptly set the fastest lap of the race, a 3:51.514 on Lap 329 of Lap 340 – he got to close the race out. Dixon was one of a number of IndyCar stars who starred at Le Mans.

He then flew straight from Le Mans, with some other Ganassi crew members, to Watkins Glen International, for testing on Monday on the newly paved track surface. It was fast. Dixon won there multiple times when IndyCar last raced there from 2005 through 2010.

And then, today, we saw his livery unveiled for Road America and this weekend’s KOHLER Grand Prix (Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

This livery, like Simon Pagenaud’s, is eye-retina popping yellow. It is bananas… b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

And it perfectly encapsulates just what a freak of nature Dixon is, because he’s an incredible talent, driver and human sometimes seemingly not of this planet.

His engineer, Chris Simmons, sums it up well:

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.