Archive for Scott Dixon

IRL: Ryan Hunter-Reay’s time is now

Posted in Article, IRL with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by Martin Henderson

He has model good looks, a model good-looking fiancée and the kind of talent Danica Patrick wishes she had. Now with Andretti Autosport, Ryan Hunter-Reay will finally get the opportunity to define himself as America’s best red, white and blue open-wheel race car driver.

He is not driving for a shoestring budget team that took stock in moral victories against the big boys.

Hunter-Reay has, in the first three races of the IZOD IndyCar Series, outscored all three of his higher-profile teammates, former champion Tony Kanaan, Andretti racing heir Marco Andretti and media darling Patrick.

If you would like to read racescribe author Martin Henderson’s story for ESPNLosAngeles.com on Hunter-Reay and the opportunity to prove himself, click here.

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IRL preview: Dario an investment in the future

Posted in Column, IRL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2010 by Martin Henderson

What’s so special about the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season?

Will Power.

The third driver in the Penske stable should help the Captain, Roger Penske, win a championship.

The key word is should.

Extra technical information should be an advantage to Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, and there are times when Power will wedge himself between a Penske car and one owned by Chip Ganassi.

But if you’re projecting to early October, the championship comes down to Castroneves, Briscoe and Power vs. Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon.

Franchitti won the title last season. He also won in 2007 while driving for Michael Andretti’s team. In between was his foray into NASCAR, which didn’t go very well. In fact, it went pretty badly, and reflected more poorly on open wheel racers than it should have.
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Nothing fabricated about IndyCar’s championship

Posted in Column, IRL, NASCAR, NHRA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2009 by Martin Henderson

In a racing world where playoffs were created to ensure a close championship battle and maintain consumer interest, isn’t it ironic that the IndyCar Series may have the best championship of all?

Going into today’s final race of 2009 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Scott Dixon has the championship lead, teammate Dario Franchitti is five points off the pace, and Ryan Briscoe is eight points back. The series has averaged a new championship leader every other race this season.

There is nothing contrived about this battle for open wheel supremecy, nothing fabricated by artificial means or points. It will be decided in a 200-lap shootout on a 1.5-mile oval under the lights. One of those three men is going to win it, and he will earn it in the process.

Based on the whole season, not just a portion of it.

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IRL: A special memory suitable for ever

Posted in Column, IRL with tags , , , , , , , on May 25, 2009 by Martin Henderson

There are moments you should remember the rest of your life. This was one of them.

Fewer than six weeks after being acquitted of tax evasion charges, Helio Castroneves won the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

For the third time.

Winning once is historic. Winning twice is monumental.

Three times?

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IRL: As weekends go, Rahal stole the show

Posted in Column, IRL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2009 by Martin Henderson

Alex Lloyd was money. Scott Sharp was off the hook. And Helio  Castroneves was, well, Castronevesque.

But clearly the most impressive performer over the first weekend of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 was America’s best hope for a superstar.

Graham Rahal.

His first coup came on Saturday, when he pulled a sixth-place qualifying run off the board and,  in a new car, qualified fourth. In other words, he out-qualified Scott Dixon, the defending race champion as well as the defending IndyCar  Series champion for Team Target.

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IRL: A step behind, but Americans stepping up

Posted in Column, IRL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2009 by Martin Henderson

St. Louis may be the gateway to the west, but Kansas Speedway is the gateway to the Indianapolis 500. It might also have been the first step toward a legitimate resurgence among American open wheel drivers.

Two weeks ago, Scott Dixon finally got off the schneid, Helio Castroneves showed he’s in midseason form, and Tony Kanaan proved once again he is as reliable as ever. But perhaps the most notable thing to emerge from the heavy skies outside Kansas City in the IndyCar Series Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 is what took place behind them.

Danica Patrick, 27, Marco Andretti, 22, and Graham Rahal, 20 — three Americans — finished 5-6-7 in the running order. That’s about as good as can be expected as they catch up to the aforementioned, as well as Dario Franchitti. That Franchitti was the only sure thing to not finish the race, it turned out to be a banner day for the red, white and blue.

That’s right, Americans.

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IRL: Dixon currently trails, ahem, Stanton Barrett

Posted in Blog, IRL with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2009 by Martin Henderson

So this is what they mean when they say it’s tougher to repeat as a champion than win it in the first place.

Scott Dixon? The defending IndyCar Series champion is 55 points behind Dario Franchitti and in 17th place after two races. Two races, two sub-par finishes. It happens.

But Dixon’s misery has happened on two street circuits, and there’s only one thing that needs to be said to put a little perspective on how bad his season has gone thus far.

He trails Stanton Barrett.

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