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04.24.14

Dixon Seeks to Dislodge Runner-Up Yoke at Barber

IndyCar - Birmingham, AL

Dave Lewandowski / IndyCar.com

Part of Scott Dixon’s success at Barber Motorsports Park relates to another flowing road circuit, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver has won four of the past seven Verizon IndyCar Series races.

Dixon has been the runner-up in each of the four races on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park, and though the top step in Victory Circle is the goal each outing the points accumulated have greatly helped in the championship chase. Dixon, driver of the No. 9 entry, earned his third series title in 2013.

"I guess you could say I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the track," said Dixon, who has 31 career second-place finishes.

In the past 50 years, the only other time a driver has placed second four times in a row at the same racetrack was Dixon (2006-09) at Chicagoland Speedway. Dixon clinched the '08 championship at the 1.5-mile oval in Joliet, Ill.

The increasing grip of the Barber racing surface through the weekend produces high cornering speeds that create momentum through the remainder of the racetrack that features 80 feet of elevation change. Reaching a balance on the car's set-up for the high- and slow-speed corners, much like Mid-Ohio, is a key.

As Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing said: "Everything tends to feel good on the car because there's so much grip. The car is fast for everyone, but the challenge is you just have to be a little bit quicker than everyone else, and it's hard to find that last bit of speed."

Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti have finished third in consecutive years at Barber. Castroneves also won the race in 2010, while Team Penske teammate Will Power won in 2011 and '12.
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  • Scott Dixon, Photo: goongraphix
  • Scott Dixon, Photo: goongraphix