Scott Dixon seeks first Iowa win to launch his usual points comeback

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NEWTON, Iowa – Scott Dixon and second half comebacks in the Verizon IndyCar Series are as ubiquitous as corn references at the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway.

Odd, then, that Iowa Speedway is one of only a handful of tracks where the driver of the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet hasn’t won before.

But the winner of IndyCar’s only previous short oval race this season, on the 1-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway back in April, could use an encore of that outing to perform his usual second half comeback once more as he’ll start today’s race (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN) 90 points back of points leader Simon Pagenaud.

Dixon sits fourth in the standings, and needs to start making headway with seven races left if he’s to retain his 2015 crown and win his fifth series championship.

At 90 back, and starting 10th today, he’ll need to make up an average of 12.8 points per race, and also leapfrog Pagenaud’s two Penske teammates Helio Castroneves and Will Power in second and third.

“It has been a funny place, no doubt,” Dixon told NBC Sports of Iowa, where he’s one of four drivers to have started each of the nine Iowa races but only has one podium, a third place in 2011.

“We’ve been on the pole, led a lot of laps, but it’s been a race with a lot of issues. I’ve had the steering column lock up while leading. Last year, the CV joint broke. I’ve had the seat belts came undone. We’ve had engine failures. It’s been a strange race.

“It’s funny because I think the Ganassi cars are generally good, and we’re at the pointy end of the field. Two years ago we got trumped on tire strategy and ended 3-4 (with teammate Tony Kanaan a spot ahead) instead of 1-2.

“I enjoy this place. It’s fun and demanding. For an oval, it’s quite physically tough.”

It was also the race where despite the CV joint failure last year, his Ganassi team rallied to get him back out and gain the necessary one extra point that ultimately won him last year’s title.

Dixon said he’d have preferred the race to stay a Saturday night affair but understood the reasoning behind it moving to Sunday from a big picture viewpoint.

“It’s back to a day race… it’s interesting, because a lot of people would prefer Saturday night,” he said. “For TV though it’s important, and a logical choice. Sunday at 4 or 5 p.m. ET not going up against anyone is good, so the rating should benefit.”

Dixon will also benefit from his usual copious amount of seat time this weekend, back in the car after a rare weekend off, which actually threw him for a loop.

Before Road America, Dixon’s crazy travel schedule coming off the month of May at Indianapolis, then the Detroit doubleheader featured the weekend at Texas, his trip to Le Mans, a test at Watkins Glen and then Road America, before settling down with of all things, a wedding he attended still in Elkhart Lake. No race cars were involved, just wedding attire.

Yet the extended stay in Elkhart nearly didn’t happen. Dixon’s sports car teammate Ryan Briscoe – himself a story last weekend with wife Nicole’s surprise but welcome birth of new daughter Blake – was nearly sidelined from competition and had he been unable to return to Watkins Glen, Dixon was the standby driver for the team’s No. 67 Ford GT alongside Richard Westbrook. That in and of itself is surprising considering Ford GT development driver and Le Mans/WEC extra Billy Johnson was on site at Watkins Glen last weekend.

“I was in pretty good contact with him,” Dixon admitted. “If he didn’t make it back, then I’d be missing a wedding. But what a great outcome for him to have a baby Friday, then a race win on Sunday.”

Tentatively, Dixon is scheduled to race once more in the Ford GT at Petit Le Mans in October.

But first, he and the No. 9 team led by Mike Hull has the business of closing the gap to Pagenaud over the final seven races – and the engine issues sustained at Road America dented what was a good opportunity to chip away at it two weeks ago.

“He’s struck a bit of bad luck at Road America,” Dixon said. “You hate to use the word ‘lucky,’ but it’s been convenient for him where guys who could get on a roll have had a few hiccups.

“It’s been frustrating, because each weekend we wait for the flip to make inroads. It hasn’t worked out that way.

“It’s good to see Will (Power) get some speed back and bank good points. But we need to make this championship somewhat exciting… although I’m sure Pagenaud doesn’t want that!

“We started strong and have had great speed. But whether with mechanicals or silly stuff, it’s all been a bit odd.”

The frustration also seeps through given the fact it hasn’t just been Dixon who’s been strong but unlucky. Teammates Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton have also had their moments in the sun this year, but none consistent enough to mount a regular challenge.

If Dixon is to keep the title, he’ll need his three Chip Ganassi Racing teammates to provide ample support and take points off Team Penske’s quartet.

“We’ve all been good, but in a really frustrating way, we haven’t had too many conversions,” he said.

But, the metronomically calm, cool, consistent and incredibly talented Dixon is back in his natural habitat this weekend after his one off weekend, and seeks to end his run of relative bad luck.

“I think when you’re turning up to any track hitting ground running, everything’s been exciting,” he said. “So a weekend off felt strange! But it’s been a lot of seat time and I’m loving every second of it.”

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”