Scott Dixon Takes Pole Position, on Road to Indy 500

Following qualifying for the Indy 500, Scott Hornell looks at Scott Dixon's fourth pole position at Indy and the New Zealander's title hopes in 2017.

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For the second time, Honda driver Scott Dixon takes pole position and hopes to go ‘pole to pole’ in the race that stops America. Reaching over 232 miles per hour on the  Fast 9 Pole Run, the New Zealander drove the wheels off his Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12 to overhaul his nearest rivals.

Scott Dixon Takes Pole Position, on Road to Indy 500

In a tense day of practice, that saw P1 taken by multiple drivers, eventually fell to the flying-Kiwi to end the day on top. The $100,000 pole winners bonus is the first step on the road to his second IndyCar win. In a bid to find the chequered flag, Dixon took his third career pole at Indy, and his four IndyCar titles.

The result today was also a boost for Dixon’s 2017 season, a week after his second place on the Indy Road Circuit. As Scott Dixon takes pole position, it now sets him up to overhaul series leader Simon Pagenaud, and head into the Summer as the man to beat.

“I can’t thank the team enough – they’ve been working so hard. This season has started off great and good points today as well.”

“It feels damn good,” Dixon told media after qualifying. “We trimmed the car and before we went out when I was sitting there, I thought we’d maybe trimmed too much and perhaps we should put some more downforce in the car.

:This is job one – obviously the real deal is coming up in a week’s time and that is where we will push even harder and try to capitalize even more,” Dixon said.

Kiwi Driver Heads a Strong Field for the Indianapolis 500

Dixon will start alongside Ed Carpenter and Alexander Rossi, and ahead of Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso. The cross-division entrant to the Indy Car race has exceeded expectations. The double World Champion’s qualifying pace is a surprise to some. Many F1 drivers struggle on the oval, but the Spaniard took his place at Indy in a bid to become a Champion in both categories.

Last years champion Rossi took his Bryan Herta Autosport car to within inches of pole, until the 2008 winner ‘mowed him down’. Running from pole can be a considerable advantage, so today’s result is an indicator of who can walk onto the Brickyard next week, head held that little bit higher.

“Back in 2008 we won from the pole so hopefully we can replicate that here.”

That experience shows how in his long IndyCar career, the Ganassi driver has built a strong base of knowledge. Known as the ‘winningest driver’ with 40 career wins, it is a long way from his humble beginnings in 1990. The fresh-faced New Zealander found it hard to transition into the bright lights of American motorsport.

That now seems a world away. With thousands of miles under his belt, with multiple titles and widespread respect in the industry, his ambition is still there. Scott Dixon takes pole position in his 16th year with CGRT, and he is still one of the fastest, and hardest drivers to pass. Yet with the support of his family, wife Emma and children, he is better prepared to stand on the winners circle.

To taste that winners pint of milk again. And to cherish the moment; even more so than 2008.

The 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 28.

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