17 Sep 2018

Scott Dixon: The Iceman makes IndyCar history

5:39 pm on 17 September 2018

Plaudits began to rain down on Scott Dixon within minutes of his fifth win in the IndyCar series championship.

Scott Dixon 2018 Indycar Champion.

Scott Dixon 2018 Indycar Champion. Photo: IndyCar

Australian Will Power, who came third, put it simply: "Flawless year. Very deserved champion."

American Alexander Rossi, a former Formula One driver and Dixon's closest rival, was equally effusive: "A huge congratulations to Scott. He's a five-times champion for a reason. It was a pleasure to race against him all year."

The New Zealander entered the Grand Prix of Sonoma in northern California knowing he needed just a top-two finish to be assured of the 2018 title. He duly did, driving conservatively for a comfortable second behind Ryan Hunter-Reay.

"To share the track with him is awesome and to beat him is, too."

He said Dixon was among the greatest racers of his generation.

Scott Dixon celebrates after becoming the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion at Sonoma Raceway in California.

Scott Dixon celebrates after becoming the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion at Sonoma Raceway in California. Photo: Getty Images / AFP

Dixon won three of the 17 races on this year's schedule and had 13 top-fives.

The 38-year-old Dixon previously won the IndyCar championship in 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015.

His fifth title moves him into second in IndyCar history, behind A.J. Foyt with seven open-wheel titles on the US circuit between 1960 and 1979.

On the track Dixon is known as The Iceman for his demeanour. A film of his life was titled "Born Racer". That appears to be true.

He was born in Brisbane to Kiwi parents Ron and Glenys Dixon who were both dirt-track race car drivers. Growing up in Manurewa, he began racing karts from age seven and received a dispensation to race a saloon car at 13, according to biographies of him.

By 1994, he was winning significant New Zealand junior titles. He took the New Zealand Formula Vee championship in 1994, a popular junior motor competition. For the next three years, he was winning racing titles at every level.

Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon Photo: Photosport

In 1997, Dixon and his mentor, Kenny Smith, headed to Australia to compete. A few months later he was Rookie of the Year after coming third in the Holden series.

He never looked back.


Asked by the New Zealand Herald, how he copes with speeds of up 300km/h he said: "It doesn't really seem like you're going that fast. Everyone around you is going similar speeds. It's not until you hit a non-moving object then that's a horrible feeling. The best feeling for speed is when you move up categories through your junior career and everything seems so fast for the first 20 laps."

After he re-signed to race for Chip Gannasi in the IndyCar championships last year, managing director Mike Hull told Motorsport.com that Dixon stood comparison with the legends of the sport and a key to his success was ability to constantly adapt. Each time the IndyCar changed its formula and rules, Dixon adapted and still came out in front.

Scott Dixon at Sanoma in California.

Scott Dixon at Sanoma in California. Photo: Photosport

"He's still the guy the championship goes through, and you know you have to beat him to get on the top step. He's a driver that's always thinking about the next race and how he's going to approach it, attack it and ultimately win it."

He has regularly spoken of the support he recieves from his wife, Emma, and his pride in daughters, Poppy and Tilly.

Today he said: "I can't thank my wife, Emma, enough, she's been so amazing through the whole season, it's actually the anniversary of her father's passing today so it's an emotional time."

Ahead of him in the standings is only A. J. Foyt, a legend of the sport, tough-talking Texan and inductee into more Motorsport halls of fame than people have heard of. His ESPN profile celebrates his astounding successes but noted he "always believed in God, America and himself - and not necessarily in that order."

Scott Dixon is hugged by wife Emma after winning the Indycar championship for the fifth time.

Scott Dixon is hugged by wife Emma after winning the Indycar championship for the fifth time. Photo: Supplied: Indycar

Perhaps the only question facing Dixon now is whether he can reach and overhaul the man they call "Super Tex".