Friday, Jul 12 09:36am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Scott Dixon has to “step it up” to get first back-to-back title

Five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon is taking a win-or-bust approach to the remaining seven races this season.


The Chip Ganassi Racing driver comes into Round 11 of the season in Toronto, Canada nearly 100 points behind series leader Josef Newgarden of Team Penske.


It was at the same race last year that Dixon stole victory from Newgarden, who made a mistake in the dying stages of the race to hand the Kiwi victory.


At this time last year he was in a much better position with two wins to his credit and an additional three podiums. Dixon has four podiums and one win so far this year, but four finishes outside the top 10 versus just the one at the same point means he’s a distant fourth in the standings.


“I think the effect for us is we have to race for wins now,” Dixon told NBC Sports in the lead up to this weekend’s race at Exhibition Place.


“There is no other way to try and rebound on this championship, especially when the likes of Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi have been running so well at every configuration too.


“We definitely have to step it up.”


Newgarden and Rossi have been the cream of the crop this year. Newgarden already has three wins and Rossi isn’t far behind on two for Andretti Autosport.


Fortunately for Dixon he has history at Toronto. He arrives as a three-time race winner, defending champion, and with form on his side.


At the last round in Road America he was unlucky to spin at the start of the race and fell to the rear of the field but made an incredible fight back to finish the race where he started in fifth.


“Could have, should have, would have, right?” Dixon said.


“Visually, it could have been an easy podium. Honestly, it’s hard to get into a full-on battle at the front. It was a good day for us considering what happened. But it doesn’t mean much to talk about what could have been a possibility.


“It was frustrating for what happened. For us generally it was a decent points day.”


A win this weekend would put Dixon back on track for his first back-to-back series title and close the gap to the top three.


The Honda Indy Toronto will take place at 7:35am on Monday.