Scott Dixon says he and Chip Ganassi have previously “tried a few times” to land the Kiwi a drive in a NASCAR.
The six-time IndyCar champion will have seven-time NASCAR sprint cup winner Jimmie Johnson as a teammate at several events this year.
At 45-years-old, Johnson is an old rookie trying IndyCar for the first time. However, he has been on the receiving end of some expert advice by Dixon. The two have formed a close bond as both teammates and friends.
Johnson says he had always dreamt of racing single-seaters, even before kick-starting his illustrious NASCAR career.
His racing idol was four-time Indy 500 champion Rick Mears. He even got to sample a McLaren Formula 1 car in 2018 during a car swap with Fernando Alonso.
But Johnson could be one of the last-ever NASCAR to IndyCar converts. Dixon suggests the swap between the two categories is now “almost impossible.”
“The transition I think is just so tough these days,” Dixon said at an IndyCar content day today.
“With no track testing in both formulas, it’s almost impossible. The short amount of time just trying to get up to speed is going to be pretty brutal.”
But what about going from IndyCar to NASCAR? Dixon was asked whether he would consider doing the opposite of Johnson when he retires from open-wheel racing.
Dixon’s response? He has already tried.
“I would still love to try it, NASCAR,” Dixon said. “I’ve tried a few times with Chip and kind of booked it, and then he said I would have to pay for it if I crashed it.
“So then, that’s kind of where it’s been left.”
The Kiwi wouldn’t elaborate on his missed NASCAR opportunities any further, leaving everyone to wonder what could have been.
Earlier this year, Earl Bamber tried his hand at the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The New Zealand sportscar star drove a Chevrolet Camaro at a race in Daytona. An unfortunate crashed ruled him out of a promising result.
But for Dixon, his focus is solely on seeing out his IndyCar career with a flourish. Another championship crown will have him equal A.J Foyt’s all-time seven career crowns.
“Seven sounds better than six,” Dixon added at the content day.
Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi even gave everyone a timely reminder of who the rest of the field is up against.
“As long as Scott Dixon is here, you’ve got to beat Scott Dixon,” Rossi said. “If there is one Scott Dixon or four Scott Dixons, you’ve got to beat Scott Dixon.”
The 2021 IndyCar season is scheduled to start at Barber Motorsport Park on April 18.