Ganassi: Ericsson win means Dixon, Palou calamities ‘not important’

Chip Ganassi and Marcus Ericsson

Chip Ganassi says Scott Dixon’s and Alex Palou’s mishaps in the Indianapolis 500 are “not important” in light of team-mate Marcus Ericsson’s victory.

Chip Ganassi Racing entered five cars in IndyCar’s flagship race and four of those could easily have won had the 200-lapper played out slightly differently.

Dixon and Palou traded the lead among themselves for the first two stints, taking turns saving fuel, before the latter was cruelled by the timing of a Caution on multiple counts.

‘The Iceman’ stayed in contention until he peeled off from first position on Lap 175, locked the rears on the way into pit lane, and got pinged for speeding.

While Dixon was ‘heartbroken’ when he got out of his #9 Honda, and still devastated more than 24 hours later, his team owner was more pragmatic.

“It’s obviously a great day, it’s a great day for the team, and that’s all that matters,” said Ganassi on the television broadcast just after the chequered flag, despite watching from the Car #9 timing stand.

“My emotions are one of 200 people or something, so it’s not important.

“What’s important is that we came here in May to win the Indianapolis 500, and that’s what we did.”

CGR in fact had two cars in the top three, courtesy of Tony Kanaan in its one-off entry, but it was a sorry showing for the rest.

Palou could only get back to ninth after missing the pit commit line at the second Caution by around one second, then having to take service in a closed lane anyway because he was low on fuel, while Dixon finished 21st and Jimmie Johnson crashed out on Lap 194.

Speaking later, Ganassi said a mixed bag is “realistic” among a quintet of entries.

“You have to be realistic when you have multiple cars,” he asserted.

“You can have a good day and a bad day in the same day. Sure, you just have to be realistic.

“The good news is that the good outweighs the bad.”

Dixon did say it was some small consolation that his mistake opened the door for a team-mate to triumph, which has been a theme in the CGR camp.

“They’re all happy the team won the race,” remarked Ganassi of his drivers who had poor results.

“That’s what’s most important. They all put their personal… sure, they all want to win the race – I hope they all want to win – but when the team wins, they know that’s good for them.”

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