DIXON TALKS WITH SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
By Jeffrey Gasser, SI.com
Two-time IZOD IndyCar champion Scott Dixon fell to third in the points after a bump in Edmonton forced him to pit for long radiator repairs. SI.com discusses the incident, instigated by a double-file restart, and how it will affect his performance this Sunday at the Honda Indy 200 (2 p.m. ET, Versus).
SI.com: Let's start off by talking about the incident in Edmonton. It was obviously a big upset for you. How will it affect your driving in upcoming races?
Scott Dixon: We won't change anything that we do. ... I was definitely a little angry, and the hate wears off pretty quick. I'm sure I made some comments during the race and things like that, like I was going to go back out there and try to hit him or something like that. But that's what happens in the heat of the moment. This year we've seen a lot more of it, just because of the competition, and I think it's good for the sport. You know, everybody's talking about it. When you see moves trying to be pulled off it's good for people to watch.
SI.com: You've won at least one race every year since 2005. Where do you think you will pick up that win this year?
Dixon: I might say this weekend in Mid-Ohio. But I don't know. There have been so many situations this year in which we've had great odds to win the race, but it just hasn't worked out that way. So you have to be optimistic. You've got to look forward to each one of them by themselves and try to overcome that. Here in the next couple of races I would ... [expect to] get at least one win. But sometimes that can be taken out of your hands.
SI.com: How will the double-file restart affect the race this weekend?
Dixon: It's exciting. I think it's great for the fans. It's a little more difficult I think at present for the drivers to pull off and get it down. What makes it drastically different from NASCAR is that those cars can rub and bounce off each other. With us we have wheels sticking out on us and soon as you do that it normally wrecks the car or creates a big wreck. I figure that sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you, and I think more times than not it's worked against us.
SI.com: You seem fairly positive about this compared to others.
Dixon: Well I've always been the same. We should be able to just have the rules and everybody just goes with it. I know Dario has been very outspoken about how he dislikes it, and I think that's because it's so easy to be taken out of the race now. Restarts before weren't very exciting and didn't have that much hanging on the line. So I do think it creates a little more aggressiveness, a little more action. If I was sitting on a couch having a beer and watching any car race, I would want to see the two-wide restart.
SI.com: Changing gears. Danica Patrick is rumored to be moving from IndyCar to NASCAR. Are there any major differences between the two that would make it difficult to make the transition?
Dixon: I think it's the furthest two formulas could be apart. ... I think it's very difficult. You would have to plan to have a long-term contract to make sure you have sufficient enough time to pull it off. The cars are very different, the tires are different; there's just a long list. It's almost like relearning to drive. Danica will be with great teams, I'm sure. I don't think I've seen any real reason to say that she is going, but obviously that's the inclination everyone is saying. But it'll be a tough road for sure.
SI.com: Have you considering making the transition?
Dixon: I think it's interesting in the fact that the competition is so tough in NASCAR. ... You know, I'll never say never. This year I swapped Jamie McMurray's car at Talladega, which was a lot of fun. I've spoke to Chip to see if I could just do a tiff on a short track, have a go and see what it feels like. For me, I have no idea what it's like. All I see is what I see on TV, and [what I hear from] fellow teammates [Juan Pablo Montoya] and McMurray. They love it, they rave about it, and Montoya's seen just about every kind of racing in the world. So there has got to be something that pulls everybody in.
SI.com: I have to ask, who is your driver of choice in Mario Kart?
Dixon: I'd pick Mario or the dinosaur.
SI.com: Anything you'd like to do post-racing?
Dixon: Not right at the minute. My focus is definitely on the racing. I'm sure there will be business ventures and things down the road, but I definitely don't want to be a team owner. To make a small fortune in racing you've got to start with a large one, so it's hard to say at the moment. For me, I love my family, you know, watching my daughter grow up and then we've got another one coming in October with my wife Emma. So for me life after racing will be a lot about my family.