By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter
Years in IndyCar: 16
Career Laps led: 4899
2016-17 Team: Chip Ganassi Racing
While Scott Dixon finished sixth in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship, it could have been a lot more.
He claimed a pair of dominating wins at Phoenix and Watkins Glen and led 268 laps overall – third of all drivers – but back luck hurt any chance of winning a fifth IndyCar title.
A few chances for wins were taken from him due to circumstances beyond his control. He was running second at Road America when his No. 9 Target Chevrolet broke down and he was leading Toronto before pitting too late. He looked like he was poised to steal Long Beach away from Simon Pagenaud, but Pagenaud blended back onto the track right in front of him. Dixon still ran him down and finished second by .303 of a second.
A few other good runs at Detroit and Texas were also cut short. An electrical failure took him out at Motor City and contact with Ed Carpenter at Texas brought the DNF count up to four- which is hard to overcome to win a championship.
The team also were not able to challenge the four-car juggernaut team of Team Penske consistently. It is not because Ganassi was worse, Team Penske was just better.
Saying that his season was feast or famine would be too harsh, he just had things out of his control prevent him from finishing higher in the standings.
The team was thrown a curveball late in the season when longtime sponsor Target announced they would leave the team after 27 years.
Even though 2016 was not what we are used to seeing out of the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series, you can never count him out of a series championship.
2017 sees Chip Ganassi Racing switch back to Honda after a three-year tenure at Chevrolet. The change has been seamless as Dixon led a Ganassi sweep of the top four spots at a preseason test at the Sebring International Raceway earlier this week.
The sponsor search is still on but the team is prepared to run without a sponsor if need be.
While there adversity at hand, Dixon and race strategist Mike Hull are two of the greatest minds in the IndyCar paddock. Whenever anything is dealt their way, they always find a way to come out ahead.