Rivals say Scott Dixon is “extremely underappreciated”
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He's known as the Ice Man because of his ability to remain calm in pressure situations and that is exactly what Kiwi driver Scott Dixon finds himself in with four rounds left in the Indycar Championship.
Dixon sits eight points behind championship leader Josef Newgarden and one behind second-placed Helio Castroneves as the series moves to Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania this weekend.
The four-time series champ is the only driver in the top five of the standings that isn't a Penske driver and it is his ability to get the absolute best out of his car and himself each week that has made him arguably the finest driver of his era - something his rivals are aware of.
"I think he's extremely underappreciated," said Ryan Hunter-Reay. "I think he's a legend for what he's accomplished. I don't want to say that too much because I'm racing against him every weekend.
"It's been amazing what he's been able to do. And through the eras of Indycar racing, this is the tightest it's ever been. The data shows that. From P1 to P-last, whatever that may be, this is the tightest Indycar has ever been. To be consistent nowadays, it seems to be even harder."
Series leader Newgarden is hoping to earn his maiden title this year but knows he will have his work cut out given the quality of the drivers around him. The one he admits stands out more than others is Dixon.
"You know, there's certain people within the series that you go, 'Well, they're always a threat,'" Newgarden explained. "Whether they're fast or they're not fast on a weekend, they're always a threat. He's one of those guys.
"He's always going to be a threat. If he's P10 on the charts in practice, he's still going to be a threat. He's just one of those phenomenal drivers you can't count out."
Josef Newgarden 453
Helio Castroneves 446
Scott Dixon 445
Simon Pagenaud 436
Will Power 401
- Dale Budge, NZ Herald