Scott Dixon has earmarked consistency as key in trying to back up his 2018 IndyCar title despite returning to series contention by winning the second race in Detroit.
Dixon sits 52 points, or approximately one race, behind series leader Josef Newgarden but was 92 points back when he crashed out of the first leg of the double-header on the preceding day.
Newgarden won that race but almost mirrored Dixon’s weekend when he finished 21 laps off the pace in 19th after an error while trying to pass James Hinchcliffe.
In this year and the last, it has taken Dixon until the Dual In Detroit to notch up his first win of the season.
Last year, the Chip Ganassi Honda driver left Bell Isle five points from the top of the standings.
He won two more races and finished in the top five in all but one of the nine that followed the Detroit weekend to win a fifth IndyCar title.
While Dixon is further back than he was at the same point in 2018, he still believes that banking points rather than going for broke is the best approach.
“This year I think is going to be another year, especially from this point, (that) you’re going to have to be really consistent to get a championship,” the New Zealander told IndyCar.com.
“It’s how we won last year. We did have three wins, but we were able to turn bad weekends into good ones.
“We’ve seen that from Josef (so far in 2019); some pretty average qualifying positions (but he) and the team have been able to pull out some great podiums, some big wins when they really needed it.”
Newgarden’s Sunday showing in Detroit was in fact his worst result of the year to date, and only the second time the Team Penske driver had not made the top four all season.
Alexander Rossi was also caught up in the incident when Newgarden outbraked himself while trying to dove past Hinchcliffe.
The Andretti Autosport pilot actually moved up a spot to second in the series by salvaging fifth in the race, but lost 22 points from the margin he held over Dixon.
“It was nice to halve that almost,” said Dixon.
“At least we’re kind of in the mix. But as you can see, it changes so quickly. We’ll just keep our head down and try to make the best of it.”
The IndyCar Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend (June 6-8).