Monterey, California – September 10, 2023
Scott Dixon emerged victorious at the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday, solidifying his status as a racing legend. Dixon, driving Car No. 9, secured his 51st career win in an edge-of-the-seat battle that lasted for 95 laps around the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The win put Dixon second in championship points for the season and his team Chip Ganassi Racing wrote Sunday, “Dixon notched his 56th career victory, which ranks 2nd all-time behind only A.J. Foyt (67). This is now his 10th season with three-or-more race wins, registering a trio of victories for the first time since his title-winning campaign in 2020.”
Dixon teammate Alex Palou clinched the title last week, but officially celebrated Sunday.
“Alex Palou, who became the first driver to clinch the championship before the season finale in 2007, officially claimed the Astor Cup today after finishing the day in P3. Palou wrapped up the year with a 3.71 average finishing position, which is the best mark in a single season by any driver since 2006 (Bourdais: 3.64),” according to Chip Ganassi Racing.
Starting from the 11th position, Dixon showcased his exceptional driving prowess as he steadily made his way through the field. He led for 20 laps and completed the race with a total time of 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 41.6400 seconds, crossing the finish line ahead of his competitors.
“It was definitely a wild day with a lot of ups and downs. To start the day with a failure in warmup and having to get a grid spot penalty was not great. But obviously with strategy and how tough the race was, we knew we still probably had a chance. We played it well coming to the pits, getting the right window for the last pit stop to make enough fuel. Big thank you to HPD to make sure we could get that done,” said Dixon.
McLaughlin’s Strong Pursuit
Scott McLaughlin in Car No. 3 put up a fierce challenge, finishing just 7.318 seconds behind Dixon. Although he didn’t lead any laps, McLaughlin’s impressive performance secured him the second spot on the podium.
Alex Palou, driving Car No. 10, had a spectacular day, leading for 51 laps and ultimately finishing third with a total time of 2 hours, 17 minutes, and 52.2511 seconds.
“This was an amazing race. We led a lot of laps and finished up third. The yellow didn’t help us, but we got our hands on the second ring. We have the Astor Cup now and we also won with the No. 9 car. I can’t wait to celebrate with the team. Thank you to all our partners, especially The American Legion. Now, I’m very much looking forward to the future,” said Palou.
Other Notable Performers
Will Power (Car No. 12) and Callum Ilott (Car No. 77) completed the top five, demonstrating their skill and determination in the demanding race.
Incidents and Challenges
While most drivers completed the race, Colton Herta (Car No. 26) suffered a setback due to contact, finishing 23 laps short of the full race distance. Tom Blomqvist (Car No. 60) also faced a contact incident, ending his race prematurely after completing 61 laps.
“It was a very messy race. The No. 8 Huski Ice Spritz Honda was feeling amazing all day. Unfortunately, I fell on my own mistake. I was trying to make an overtake and misjudged it. I spun, lost a lap, and from then on, it was just trying to get that lap back all day. I’m thankful, though, for the four years with Chip Ganassi Racing and the No. 8 crew. There were a lot of emotions. It’s not the finish we wanted, but congratulations to Scott on the win,” said Marcus Ericsson who is leaving Chip Ganassi to race for Andretti Autosport in 2024.