No. 964
September 19, 2018
 

About The Autoextremist

@PeterMDeLorenzo

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established Autoextremist.com on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Fumes


Monday
Sep172018

THE BEST OF THE MODERN ERA.

By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. It's no secret to AE readers that I hold Scott Dixon in the highest regard. I consider him to be one of the best drivers in the world - bar none - and clearly the best Indy car driver of this century. Dixon's record speaks for itself and now that he has secured his fifth IndyCar Championship by finishing second at the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma to Ryan Hunter-Reay (see more coverage in "The Line" -WG), he solidifies his standing as one of the all-time greats. 

Dixon's five championships leave him behind only another legend, A.J. Foyt with seven, in the Indy car record books. 
"Man, this is so awesome!" said Dixon after his run on Sunday. "I can't believe that it's actually happened. I can't thank everybody enough for this, it's so cool!" 

Dixon's humble demeanor is one of his signature best qualities, on and off the track. But it's on the track where he has made his indelible mark on open-wheel racing here in the U.S. His steely focus is legendary, and his ability to adapt to race conditions and get the most out of his car on any given day has marked his career from the beginning. His consistency is most remarkable, and his pure speed is always present. Would he have been a champion in F1? I have no doubt he would have been had he chosen that pursuit. But I'm glad he has raced in Indy cars, because we have gotten to see one of the best drivers in racing history, year-in and year-out.

"The whole race I was thinking about things that were out of our control, cautions that were going to flip the field," said Dixon, whose 44 race wins rank third in Indy car history. "None of that happened. "It was a very smooth race, but mentally it was tough and draining. Yeah, it's amazing to be in this situation, fifth championship. What this team has achieved, I'm a very small piece in that whole wheelhouse of what's going on at Chip Ganassi Racing. I feel very lucky to work with the people that I do."

With the achievement, Dixon moved ahead of Mario Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais and Dario Franchitti - each of whom has four titles. All of Dixon's championships have come in his 17 seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing, which laid claim to its 12th Indy car driver's title. "He's the guy on the track, off the track," Chip Ganassi said of Dixon. "If you take a piece of stone, inject some brains into it, chisel it out, it's Scott Dixon. He's just the man. "When you talk about records - A.J., Mario, all these guys - obviously Scott's name is in that group now."
 

I am keeping this column brief today, because it's time for Scott to bask in the glory of another championship. 
Perseverance, dedication and exceptional performance always win out. Congratulations to Scott and his wife Emma, to Chip Ganassi, the entire Ganassi racing organization, and to Honda for a fantastic achievement and an outstanding season.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.


(Photo by: Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)
Scott Dixon gets congratulated by team owner Chip Ganassi on pit lane after winning the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway.

(Photo by Chris Owens/INDYCAR)
Scott Dixon on his way to a fifth championship at Sonoma Raceway. He now has 44 IndyCar wins.

(Photo by Stephen King/INDYCAR)
Scott and Emma Dixon - and daughters - celebrate his fifth championship in IndyCar.

(Photo by Stephen King/INDYCAR)
Scott Dixon, 2018 INDYCAR Champion and one of the best - and brightest - racers of all time.

 

Riverside, October 4, 1970. Dan Gurney (No. 48 All American Racers Plymouth Barracuda) pits during the Mission Bell 200 Trans-Am. He finished fifth behind Parnelli Jones (No. 15 Bud Moore Engineering Ford Mustang Boss 302), George Follmer (No. 16 Bud Moore Engineering Ford Mustang Boss 302), Mark Donohue (No. 6 Penske Racing Sunoco Javelin) and teammate Swede Savage (No. 42 All American Racers Plymouth Barracuda)