BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Scott Dixon looks around the IndyCar paddock and sees drivers half his age acting like A.J. Foyt even if they’ve never crossed the finish line first.
They are young and brash with the same swagger of “Super Tex,” the winningest driver in IndyCar history.
“Most of them rock up these days feeling, you know, it seems like they’ve won everything in the world already, you know?” Dixon said Friday. ”You definitely see the changing of the guard, which is always interesting."
The Iceman isn't ready to pass the torch anytime soon. Dixon begins his 21st season in IndyCar with Sunday's season-opening race at Barber Motorsports Park in pursuit of Foyt's all-time marks.
The six-time champion needs just one more title to tie Foyt's record of seven and his 50 career victories trail only Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52) in the record books. Will Power and Sebastien Bourdais at 39 wins each are the only active drivers even remotely in Dixon's class.
And yet those trophies and numbers and his two decades of dominance don't drive Dixon the way they once did. Don't get him wrong — he loves to win. But losing sticks with him a whole lot longer than a victory celebration.
He led wire-to-wire last year in winning his sixth title, but those celebratory moments were fleeting.
“It's nice to have victories but it's not something I really dwell on too much,” Dixon said. “The hard part is always all the things you remember the most of the close misses. I think that's the part of what drives you. I don't go to bed thinking about how great it was to win a sixth championship. But I do go to bed thinking about how close we lost the Indy 500 last year. That's what keeps the fire strong.”