Scott Dixon was glad when his pole position run in yesterday’s Indy 500 Fast Nine shootout was over.
Dixon’s four-lap average of 231.685 mph (372.860 kph) was fractionally quicker than the benchmark posted by Colton Herta moments earlier.
Despite this year being the Kiwi’s 19th consecutive Indy 500, Dixon says his car was on a knife-edge in yesterday’s run.
“It was pretty hairy,” Dixon said. “Glad it’s over. It was pretty tense.
“When I saw the first few cars run, it was pretty calm.
“I saw the Ed Carpenter Racing cars run. I was like, ‘that’s pretty strong. I wasn’t expecting that.’
“I was then able to watch Colton’s four laps too but wish I hadn’t before I went out.
“I knew his consistency was probably going to be a tick better than the other two, and it sure was.
“Turn one for my first lap was very loose, and I was already maxed out on all the controls.
“I knew it was just going to be holding on for lap three and four.”
Dixon had been the ace of the pack all week in the build-up to qualifying.
The 2008 winner of the race was consistently in the upper reaches of the leader board through each session, including topping Fast Friday the day before qualifying.
Still, Dixon had to work for his pole position, beating out an Ed Carpenter Racing duo of Herta and Rinus Veekay who continued to find speed over the week.
“This is what this sport is about, and this is what Indianapolis is about is laying this thing on the line,” he said.
“Credit to [Ed and Rinus], they threw in a hell of a fight there at the end.
“That was sketchy. It was pretty loose the last lap, I was hoping that I was going to make it through Turn 3. I was holding on.”
Dixon has now claimed four Indy 500 pole positions, only two behind all-time record holder Rick Mears with six.