Scott Dixon is a lot like Jimmie Johnson in his driving style and work ethic, says Chip Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull.
Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, will be making his IndyCar Series debut alongside Dixon this season.
He is confirmed to race on all street and road courses, while Tony Kanaan will take over the reins of the fourth CGR car at the ovals.
The switch in codes marks a new era in Johnson’s career. He leaves NASCAR as statistically one of the sport’s greatest ever drivers. His new path sees him join a six-time IndyCar champion, who is arguably in his best career form.
Hull, who played a pivotal role in Dixon’s title-winning 2020 campaign, has likened his new partnership of drivers, suggesting both Dixon and Johnson inhabit similar traits on and off the track.
“I’ll have whatever he (Dixon) is having,” Hull told IndyCar.com.
“He’s a lot like Jimmie. Their ethic is very, very similar. They both work hard to learn new things and improve themselves, and it isn’t just in the car.
“It’s what Scott needs to do out of the car to make himself stronger mentally and physically.
“I don’t want to say ‘at his advanced age’ because if someone looked at him and you said he’s 40 years old, they’d say, ‘No way!’ It’s refreshing to be around somebody who is so willing to not take anything for granted.”
Dixon and Johnson kicked off their 2021 pre-season last month at Sebring. The series rookie took the opportunity to learn from his more experienced teammate.
Hull says Dixon and Johnson have been trading notes and pointers with each other since beginning their partnership. Four-time IndyCar champion and team advisor Dario Franchitti has also been throwing around his help to the pair.
“Between the three of them, they are counterparts and compare notes effectively.
“It’s gratifying to know we work at a place like Chip Ganassi Racing where that can happen.”
Hull also stressed the importance of the team’s two other full-time drivers, Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou.
While Palou is a newbie to the team having raced with Dale Coyne last season, Ericsson is in his second year as a Chip Ganassi Racing. His first season with the team saw him finish 12th overall, with three top-five finishes.
“[Marcus] is a quality guy, and he’s driven at quality places. He was in Formula One when drivers of his ability didn’t get to [post the results] they should have.
“I expect we’re going to see a marked improvement in terms of where he finishes in the races this year. I think he’s capable of winning a race and maybe more than one, and he’s certainly capable of podium finishes.
“I would also say he was a huge contributor to Scott Dixon’s success in winning the championship. [People] don’t see that, but his driving style is very similar to Scott’s.”
The upcoming IndyCar Series is scheduled to begin at Barber Motorsport Park on April 18.