SCOTT DIXON: PREPARING FOR INDY, MILWAUKEE
Welcome aboard! This is the first of five blog posts for my Milwaukee fans leading up to the Milwaukee 225 on June 19, and I'm excited to get started.
I should probably introduce myself first. I'm Scott Dixon, and I drive race cars for a living. Specifically, I drive Indy cars, and I'm blessed to have this life. I won the Indianapolis 500 in 2008, and I want nothing more than to win it again. I've also won two IZOD IndyCar Series championships and 25 IndyCar races, and I'm constantly trying to add to that.
As you know, we've been busy preparing for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500, but the weather hasn't exactly been cooperative. My Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Dario Franchitti, and I got in a handful of laps on Saturday's opening day practice session and again Monday, but so far the weather is winning.
That's part of what makes the preparation for Indy so tricky. We've got a shorter schedule now - just a week of practice - and restrictions on the number of tires and miles, so you have to pick and choose your practice spots carefully.
On Saturday, we performed a routine shakedown of our backup cars. It's all very cut-and-dried. We simply go out and make sure the car is operating properly. We see what it can do, but don't press it too much. It's basically completing a checklist of things so we're prepared for Saturday's pole qualifying - and, of course, the race itself on May 29.
On Monday, we both took out the primary cars for very short runs, and both cars were very quick right away. We're extremely pleased with where we're at right now. We ran minimal laps in the time we had, yet the cars were all quick. It's a very good start, but no reason to get overconfident.
Nobody can ever really get overconfident at Indy. This race is so difficult to win. It takes a perfect storm of everything happening right - car prep, strategy, speed, track position and sometimes even luck - to win. It's always a difficult challenge, and that's why we enjoy it so much.
That's part of why I enjoy racing at The Mile, too. It's a difficult racetrack that demands the most of a driver. I've seen both ends of it. I won there in 2009, and I crashed two cars in four laps there in 2004. It's one of my favorite events on the schedule each year, so I'm looking forward to getting back next month.
The other thing about The Mile that intrigues me is the history. Like Indy, it's been around for a very long time. And, like Indy, you can sense the history when you're there. It's an old-school, gritty, hard-nosed racetrack, and I'm game for tracks like that.
The Mile can give you the worst day on earth or reward you with the best day you've ever had. I know. I've experienced the best and worst it can offer. That's what I love about the place. It's not a simple mile oval. It's tough and fast and demanding, much like Indy.
From here, we'll continue to prepare for Saturday's qualifying, choosing our spots between the rain carefully. We have loads of confidence as a team, having won the race twice in the past three years, but the competition is so close right now. There are more cars than ever, and everyone has had years to perfect this same chassis, so we're all just nanoseconds apart.
And, with this being the 100th anniversary of the 500, the race has an element of days gone by. Everyone wants to have their name linked to a landmark, and we all love the history of racing, so there's just a little more emphasis on this one. It's going to be fascinating to see how it plays out.
I'll be back next week to tell you all about qualifying and give you a preview of the race itself. Stay tuned!