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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

IRL champion Dixon ready for new season

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

By STEVE HERMAN

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Scott Dixon's incredible season is finally beginning to sink in.

The New Zealand racing star got married last February, won the Indianapolis 500 in May and claimed his second IndyCar Series championship last fall. He received his Indy winner's ring and saw his likeness unveiled on the silver Borg-Warner Trophy on Tuesday, and he said he can't wait for the new season to begin.

"It's cool, it's definitely exciting," Dixon said at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"When you see something on television or see something in print, it definitely brings back a lot of nice flashes from a few months ago. I think it'll sink in eventually when I come here for the month of May and the celebration starts again."

The 28-year-old Dixon beat Brazil's Vitor Meira by 1.75 seconds to win his first 500 last May. The victory was worth a record prize of $2,988,065, easily topping the former record of $1.76 million to winner Buddy Rice in 2004 and earning Dixon a spot of racing immortality with his likeness engraved in bas-relief on the 5-foot Borg-Warner trophy, one of the most recognizable awards in all sports.

"Once you end a season, you're already looking ahead," said Dixon, who will be joined on the Ganassi Racing team by former Indy and series champion Dario Franchitti, back in the IRL after an unsuccessful try in NASCAR.

"For me, it'll be very difficult to try and top 2008," Dixon said. "The only way I can get close is try to repeat a 500 win and repeat a championship.

"I can't wait. I think it will be exciting with Dario. The last two Indy 500 champions and last two series champions in one team is going to be pretty special."

The new season begins April 5 at St. Petersburg, Fla.



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