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Dixon rolls into Mid-Ohio on hot streak

The SportsXchange

LEXINGTON, Ohio -- What's facing Scott Dixon in the IndyCar Series isn't a record, but it's noteworthy.

With two more victories, the Ganassi Racing driver who has won the past three series races -- in Long Pond, Pa., and two in Toronto -- can become the first since 1995 to crack the sport's top six list for career wins

The last driver to reach that category was Al Unser Jr., who at that time had 31 wins. Unser was fifth behind retired drivers A.J. Foyt (67 wins), Mario Andretti (52), Al Unser (39) and Bobby Unser (35), but he later was passed by Michael Andretti.

Andretti and Unser Jr. have since retired with 42 and 34 wins, respectively. Andretti is third on the career list. Meanwhile, Dixon is charging.

The New Zealand driver known as "The Iceman" enters Sunday's Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with 32 wins. It stands to reason that he won't win the next two races to tie Unser, but he could win Sunday and the victory to tie Unser could come later this season.

Dixon has won IndyCar's two most recent races at this road course situated on farmland between Columbus and Cleveland, and he has won three of the past four and four overall. His Ganassi teammate, Dario Franchitti, won the other race in the past four years, in 2010.

Franchitti, who is tied for eighth place on the career list, has already predicted that Dixon could win as many as 40 races, which would put him in fourth place. Dixon only recently turned 33 years old, which makes him a full seven years younger than Franchitti.

Interestingly, Dixon won his IndyCar championships in 2003 and 2008. He stands second by just 29 points (to Team Penske's Helio Castroneves) with six races remaining. Before the July 7 race at Pocono Raceway, Dixon was seventh in the standings, 92 points in arrears.

Dixon, who has won at least one race in nine consecutive seasons, noted his comeback is part of his career.

"We don't intentionally start the season bad, although we typically seem to somehow," he said. "It's so competitive (in this series). With how many different race winners we've had this year, the points are jumbled up. People have made strides at different points in the year.

"I suspect there's going to be four, five, six people that are going to be fighting for it at the end of the year. Hopefully, we're one of them. Hopefully, we dig deep enough and maybe it goes our way."

Castroneves has never won the series title.

Dixon has made 150 consecutive race starts, and he appears to be reaching his prime.

"Racing is still in my veins and hopefully my career is a long one and something I can enjoy for a long time," he said. "As you go on through your career, you have good races, bad races, lots of ups and downs."

Dixon won his only Indianapolis 500 in 2008.

"I still wake up every morning wanting to go to the track and race cars and hopefully win some more races," he said.

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