Scott Dixon

Track Talk: 5-Time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon Previews the 2020 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is just around the corner! #TrackTalk sat down with 5-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon to preview the race.

VG: You were the very first driver to test a version of the IndyCar aeroscreen. Visually, we can see how much has changed since that first test, but how much different is it for you as a driver when comparing the initial design to the final design debuting at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg?

SD “There’s actually a lot less load on the helmet. Visually, there’s been no (issue). Some of the areas with tear-offs and where they seam in the middle will be sort of fixed down the road to make it better.”

VG: Given the additional weight and drag from the aeroscreen, what impact do you think that will have on lap times in St. Petersburg?

SD: I’m not sure yet on the weight and drag. That’s something we’ll have to wait and see on I think. You’re constantly changing the car and INDYCAR is great at implementing safety updates all the time so it may not be as easy to pinpoint given the amount of variables we’re dealing with. At any rate it will be the same for everyone and I think it will be a big safety upgrade all of the drivers are happy with.”

VG: Florida weather can be a bit tricky in March. Temperatures can go anywhere from the high 60’s to the high 80’s Fahrenheit over a race weekend. What kind of challenge does that present during a race weekend?

SD: Weather is always a huge variable the teams deal with. You have minimum temperatures to run the Firestone racing tires, and there are several other things that affect the car and the way it performs. We have several years of data to fall back on at St. Pete and sometimes you have to look back through your notes and learn from experience. I’m still looking for my first win at St. Pete so hopefully the weather cooperates and this is the year.”

VG: Speaking of setup, you’re leading two sophomore teammates this year. What can you teach them, and what in turn can you learn from them?

SD: I think it’s a situation of just really working together. All three teams have a plan and hopefully we’re organized and use what we learn collectively to move the racing program forward in one direction. Just having Felix as a teammate last year, he’s been in so many different forms of motor sport, he really brings a lot to the table. And then adding Marcus, he’s got a wealth of experience from all around the globe including several years in Formula 1. I think we can cover a lot of ground this year and use all of that to our advantage on the track.”

VG: Favorite thing to do off-track in St. Petersburg?

SD: Wow where do you even start on this one? Eat maybe? I love this town. St. Pete has grown so much over the years since we first started coming here in the early 2000s. There is so much to do and so many restaurants so you can literally pick a new place every night you’re in town all week and not be let down.”

VG: Some rapid-fire questions…

VG: How does Scott Dixon stay sharp when he isn’t racing?

SD: Train, train and train. We’re in the gym almost every day during the week and sometimes twice a day. Cycling, swimming and running are among my favorites.

VG: What’s your daily driver?

SD: I always say the best kind of car is a free car. We’ve been fortunate enough as Honda drivers to get their latest vehicles over the years and right now I’m driving a Honda Pilot.

VG: Top Gear or The Grand Tour?

SD: Top Gear.

VG: If you could team up with any other driver in history, who would you pick, and why?

SD: Man that is so tough. Growing up Senna was always at the top of that list when I was a kid.

VG: If you could test any race car— past or present, which would it be?

SD: I think it would be really cool to have a go in a NASCAR Cup car someday.

 

Victor Genova is the founder & host of the Media People Podcast. You can follow him on Instagram @vicgenova.