INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Dixon is hoping his luck on pit road at the Indianapolis 500 has turned around after his team won Friday’s Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge.
Dixon had the dominant car in last year’s Indy 500, but his bid at a second victory was thwarted when he was caught for speeding on pit lane on his final pit stop. Dixon and the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda crew shared a $50,000 prize for winning the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge.
Dixon and his CGR team, led by crew chief Tyler Rees, beat Will Power and the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet crew in three rounds in the best-of-three final. It was the fourth Pit Stop Challenge win for Ganassi and Dixon, who also won together in 2012, ’14 and ’18.
Power’s Team Penske crew will share $25,000 for finishing runner-up in the annual contest, which featured a record purse of $150,000 this year. Teams change all four tires and simulate fueling in the contest.
Dixon edged Power — 11.561 seconds to 12.047 seconds — in the first round. Power turned the tables in round two, edging a thrilling 11.829-11.947 victory. But Dixon and his crew, nicknamed “The Wolfpack,” prevailed in the final — 11.012-12.552.
“It’s huge for the team,” Dixon said. “It just shows what everybody does at Chip Ganassi Racing, and it takes a team to win, and I have the best team. We’ll be giving it all Sunday, but obviously all the credit goes to everyone up here today. I just tried not to screw it up. Congrats, boys. That was fantastic.”
Tyler Rees is Dixon’s crew chief and manages the pit crew that defeated Team Penske in the finals on Friday.
“It’s a super proud moment,” Rees said. “We all work hard, and it’s a lot of pressure out there. For everybody to get it done and especially going against Penske in the final round, they’re the guys to beat.”
The last team to sweep the Pit Stop Challenge and the win the Indianapolis 500 was Helio Castroneves in 2009 with Team Penske.
“That’s the goal,” Dixon said. “I’ll be obviously extremely happy if we can pull it off. But also, be happy if it’s not me, it’s one of my teammates. There’s a lot of effort that goes into this. Again, it’s never one single person. There are so many moving pieces and so many details that it takes to be at the top, and this is one of the big pieces that helps me a lot on race day and my team across the board.
“There’s a lot of effort and a lot of time that goes into these pit stops, so it’s really cool to see it pay off, especially like the format we have now.”