INDIANAPOLIS – The topic of Scott Dixon’s primary sponsor has been a story line since Target’s withdrawal from the Chip Ganassi Racing Verizon IndyCar Series program at the end of 2016.
A big name will be on board as its primary sponsor for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, in the form of Camping World.
Camping World chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis revealed the announcement late Friday night on Twitter, that the company would take over primary sponsorship of Dixon’s No. 9 Honda for this race.
If history is a guide, Andretti-Herta Autosport completed a late deal with NAPA Auto Parts the Friday before qualifying last year and Alexander Rossi promptly won last year’s 100th running just over a week later.
Dixon’s car has featured NTT Data primary signage since Long Beach, while running GE LED primary signage at the St. Petersburg season-opening race.
The car has been in NTT Data colors this week, as has the garage signs above Dixon’s entry in Gasoline Alley.
Speaking at a press conference today, Ganassi said Dixon is so good that if he’s not winning, it’s always down to the car.
“A lot of you know I’m friends with Leonard Wood down at the Wood Brothers and you obviously know the Wood Brothers’ history here in Indianapolis,” he said.
“I think Leonard gave Scott the greatest compliment. He said that Scott reminds him of David Pearson. He said, ‘When you have David Pearson driving your car, if you didn’t win, you knew you had to work on your car a bit.’ So I thought that was the ultimate compliment.
“He said: “That’s what Dixon is. If you win with him in your car, you know you’ve got to work on your car.” That’s pretty good.”
Dixon last won this race in 2008, but enters this year second in points on the strength of five top-five finishes in as many races to start the season.
Qualifying takes place this weekend, and Carb Day coverage runs on NBCSN from 11 a.m. ET on Friday, May 26.