Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon proved on Sunday during the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, the opening race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season why he is known as the Iceman.
The New Zealander who pilots the No.9 PNC Bank Honda started Sunday’s 110 lap race from ninth place on the grid but had a frustrating start to the event as contact with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato resulted in Dixon having to pit for a new nose and then one lap later he had to top off for fuel.
The Iceman was then notified by Verizon IndyCar Series race control that he would have to serve a penalty for causing avoidable contact and speaking following the race, Dixon, who climbed his way back up the order to finish the race in sixth commented by saying:
Obviously not the way we wanted to start the season here in St. Pete with the PNC Bank car today. We had a fast car this weekend, led practice Saturday, but qualifying didn’t go our way and we started mid-pack. I got loose in turn one and made contact and we went to the back. After that we just focused on clawing our way back up and getting as many points as we could. I thought we could work on strategy and get a solid finish but then we served a drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding which took us out of it. We never give up and we just kept fighting to the end.
Dixon will be hoping that he and PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing No.9 crew can build on their momentum from St Petersburg next time out for the Phoenix Grand Prix at ISM Raceway where the Iceman and Chip Ganassi won in 2016.