decided against us by a few points. Our
best save? Finishing eighth in the second
Detroit race, because I hit the wall so hard
in that big crash in Turn 1, but somehow
kept going. That race was a lucky one.
SD There’s a few that pissed me off. At
Barber, we had the fastest car, but got
caught up in a strategy that didn’t work
and finished second. In Texas, we also had
a great car before it broke, and we were
strong at Iowa and had nothing to show
for it. As for stealing one? Pocono.
Standing in Victory Circle, I told Chip I
hadn’t thought there was any chance we’d
be standing there. That was a total shock.
Nobody drives 10 years for the same
owner in many series nowadays, let alone
one as volatile as IndyCar. On one hand,
job security is nice, but Roger Penske and
Chip Ganassi aren’t the easiest guys to
drive for, are they?
HC Driving for Roger obviously made my
career and it’s been fabulous and more
than I could have ever expected when I
first came to America to run in Indy Lights.
Yes, he expects performance, but he’s
very fair and so supportive. He always
gives you the best chance to succeed.
SD Chip probably hates me to say this, but
he’s changed a lot. He’s not necessarily
relaxed all the time, but when I first started,
if you messed up, he’d just go off at you.
Now he’s much better. If I have a bad run,
he’ll come and ask what we need to change.
The Captain began calling your races this
season after all your years
with Tim Cindric. Has this helped?
HC Absolutely. Unfortunately, at Toronto
I disobeyed him…but that won’t happen
again [laughs]. His presence – we call him
The Captain for a reason – elevates
everybody. He’s a coach and a strategist.
I learned a lot from Tim and I’m learning a
lot from Roger, as a person and a driver.
What about you, Dixie? You’ve been with
engineer Eric Bretzman for 10 years, so
that chemistry has to be invaluable.
SD Yes, it is, but you have to be careful of
complacency, especially when there are
two engineers who have been working
together for so long. We got into a bit of a
DIXON AND CASTRONEVES
Castroneves has only
once finished outside
the top six in the
points standings in
the past 10 years.
In a year when many IndyCar drivers have
struggled for consistency, Castroneves had
finished every lap, up to and including the
event at Mid-Ohio (PICTURED). The highlight
was a win at Texas Motor Speedway.
“We got into a rut, so five
races ago, I said, ‘Let’s just
start doing our own thing”’
rut, doing the same things, and we had to
break out of that. So five races ago, I said,
“Let’s just start doing our own thing.”
It seems like the excitable guy has
mellowed…or should that be “matured?”
HC I feel more mature, but I have loyalty
and trust and that just gives me a
comfortable feeling. I can try things and
not worry about the consequences. I feel