LEEDS, Ala – Scott Dixon has got to be thinking what does he have to do to win a race at the Barber Motorsports Park. Monday’s rain delayed Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama saw Dixon finish sixth, his eighth top six finish in nine tries at the 2.3-mile Alabama facility. Five of those are runner-up efforts, as he’s never taken his No. 9 Honda to victory lane in Barber.
It was an eventful weekend though for Dixon.
On Sunday, he was a lap away from pitting to change helmets. See, his helmet he had on was fogging up real bad and there was nothing that he could do to fix it. The only way was to just change the entire helmet itself. But, the Iceman got lucky. A red flag was displayed a lap later, meaning that he wouldn’t lose any positions now. Plus, they were able to change out the visors, meaning not only did he not have to change his helmet all together, but he rejoined the race in the top 10.
On Monday, he went off strategy. He knew that from where he was restarting, he had to do something different than everyone else. With everyone able to refuel their cars overnight, it was like he was basically starting the race ninth. With only an hour and 15-minutes left on the clock, they had to do something creative to get to the front. So, they went on Firestone blacks at the start and to go on a one stop strategy.
That plan was wrecked too.
Dixon, pit on Lap 56, two laps longer than anyone else, meaning all that he had to do was save one lap and he’d make it to the end. Most of the top cars went with Firestone Reds, the tires that fall off quicker, going on a two-stop strategy. Dixon, went with blacks on the start and after his stop to aid in long runs.
Theoretically that plan would have got him a top five finish, maybe even a podium, but rain started to fall harder and harder as the race went on and he had no other choice but to have to pit a second time for wet tires. That’s why he finished where he did.
“I think I was one of the drivers on the fence in regards to if we should restart or not yesterday,” Dixon said of the bizarre weekend. “I guess overall, it was the same for everyone. I literally couldn’t see a thing from the PNC Bank car and was just trying to hold it straight. Cars were just going by me, and there was nothing you could do because I couldn’t see anything out of my visor. It’s a shame we couldn’t get in the full distance Sunday because Barber is an amazing track with an incredible crowd. I think the one-stop strategy was the one to have today and it would have put us third, but the rain took care of that, unfortunately. The car was fast and really good on fuel mileage, but it is what it is. Hopefully we can get a break to go our way in a few weeks.”
Dixon, now heads to the Month of May at the Indianapolis in the Verizon IndyCar Series seventh points standings, as he’s had a very quiet year. He finished sixth in the season opening race at St. Pete, fourth in Phoenix, 11th at Long Beach and now sixth on Monday in Barber. None of those results were dominating, which is why his year has been so quiet.