INDIANAPOLIS – Though he has the most race wins of any active Verizon IndyCar Series driver, Scott Dixon has his eyes set on a new kind of victory in intense competition – being a bona fide “INDYCAR Ninja.”
Dixon, 37, will compete in the 10th season of NBC’s hit obstacle-course competition series “American Ninja Warrior,” which will film its city qualifier and city finals episodes in Indianapolis on April 29-30. The top athletes from the first night of competition move on to the city finals round on the second night. From there, the top ninjas move on to the show’s national finals later this year in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama course in Japan. The winner will take home a grand prize of $1 million.
Other cities hosting “American Ninja Warrior” qualifiers this year are Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. The new season of “American Ninja Warrior” premieres on Wednesday, May 30 — three days following the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. The first Indianapolis episode is currently scheduled to air on Monday, June 18 when the show moves to its regular Monday time slot (8 p.m. ET/PT). For more information, visit the “American Ninja Warrior” website.
Dixon, a New Zealand native, has been a winning Indy car driver since 2001. His 41 career victories rank fourth on the all-time list behind only retired legends A.J. Foyt (67), Mario Andretti (67) and Michael Andretti (42). The 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion isn’t overly concerned with moving on to the final rounds of the grueling ANW competition, but more focused on celebrating the show’s return to Indianapolis, his home for two decades.
“So far, I’ve had a pretty good racing career. I’ve won the Indy 500 and four series championships. Technically, I’ve won more races than the others (still driving), which I think could make me a better Ninja Warrior, and probably a lot more athletic than the drivers that have been on there before,” joked Dixon, driver of the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
“But in all seriousness, I’m looking forward to competing on the show this year. Even more special, Indianapolis has been my home and my family’s home for over 20 years.”
Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves competed on the show in 2016 when it came to Indianapolis’ “Monument Circle” location. Conor Daly competed in 2017 in the San Antonio qualifier.
Prior to the “American Ninja Warrior” qualifier, Dixon will compete in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama this Sunday, April 22. The race will air live on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network at 3 p.m. ET. Last month, INDYCAR and NBC Sports Group announced a multiyear agreement for all Verizon IndyCar Series races to air exclusively on NBC and NBCSN beginning in 2019.