In a race down to the pits, No. 9 Target Driver Scott Dixon with Chip Ganassi Racing sped past Vitor Meira during the final pit stop during a yellow to take the win at the Brickyard. Reporters commented on the look of shock on Scott’s face at winners circle and Scott confirmed that he was a bit shocked.
“It’s almost like you’re in a dreamland,” Scott said. “It was quite crazy. You know it’s something where you expect somebody to pinch you and you wake up and you’re just sort of asleep in your bed back at home. It still hasn’t sunk in yet.”
Scott’s win is the first Indy 500 win to come after the reunification of the IndyCar Series and the Champ Series. The series split 12 years ago in 1995 and finally merged again this year. Scott said the reunification certainly means the talent pool for this year’s race was a bit deeper, but he says the real competition will come next year when the former Champ Series teams will have had a year to make adjustments.
Scott said his day started off right with his a good night’s rest and his wife’s pancakes for breakfast. He did admit he was a bit anxious going into the race. Scott said the entire month went pointedly smooth with his car and his crew and he didn’t want to see something like a poor pit stop slow his momentum. Scott, who won the IndyCar Series Championship in 2003, said this was his biggest IndyCar win to date.
“This is much more sweeter because it comes, you know, you work three weeks solidly and it comes down to one day to get it and have everything fall into place. It’s quite special,” Scott said.
Scott averaged a speed of 143.567 mph during the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 and led for the last 29 laps of the race, the longest racing stretch all day.
The race was marked with eight yellow flags and that meant drivers didn’t pit once during a green. That took the pit pressure off the runner-up Vitor Miera. Vitor, who drives the N. 4 car for Panther racing finished second with an average lap speed of 143.547.
Marco Andretti, who drives the the No. 26 car for Andretti Green Racing, finished third with an average lap time of 143.541.
Team Ethanol Driver Ryan Hunter-Reay called it before the race. In a speech before EPIC members Saturday night he said the Ganassi cars would be the biggest competitors out on the track at the Brickyard. Ryan was just shy of a top five finish and came in 6th at the Indianapolis 500. Ryan was the top finishing rookie at the race and the 6th place finish marks Team Ethanol’s best Indy 500 finish to date.
When asked about Scott’s win, Ryan said “It’s nice to see the fastest car out there win.”
You can listen to audio from the press conference with Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi and Target Team Managing Director Mike Hull here: