INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The drive for five is on.
Chip Ganassi Racing heads to the Iowa Speedway on Friday night for the first of two night races at the tiny, lightning-quick oval.
With a victory at the first leg of the IOWA INDYCAR 250S, from any of Chip Ganassi’s trio of international talent, the team will become only the second crew over the last decade to win five straight IndyCar races.
The only other unit to pull off the feat was Team Penske during the 2017 season.
“We try to win every race we go in, man,” Scott Dixon told a pool of reporters following his third victory of the 2020 season last Saturday at Road America. “That just shows you how difficult it is to do things like this, and sometimes you get a little bit of luck.”
“You have to take it and strike. Everybody else does.”
Dixon swept the opening trio of 2020 races, with teammate Felix Rosenqvist the lone competitor to challenge the No. 9 machine late in any of the three events.
Following Dixon’s win Saturday at Road America, Sunday delivered the best finish of the season.
Reigning IndyCar Rookie of the Year Felix Rosenqvist chased down Pato O’Ward and a stealthy maneuver with two laps to go put the Swede on the top of an IndyCar podium for the first time in his career.
A post-race bear hug from Ganassi himself said it all on Sunday: This team is clicking on all cylinders.
“This one (Road America) was for my professional career, definitely my best win,” Rosenqvist said. “It’s just such a good feeling when you’ve been so close and you’re fighting so hard.”
“It is not only Scott Dixon anymore (laughs), he is just phenomenal. It feels cool to be able to contribute.”
Outside of Chip Ganassi Racing Headquarters in Indianapolis, Dixon’s backstory is well documented. Rosenqvist’s? Not so much.
It turns out, over the last decade, the now 28-year-old logged so many miles racing around the globe that even he lost track of the travel.
“It was a very different career path to many others in my age group,” Rosenqvist said of his competitive upbringing in Asia racing Formula Renault and later a plethora of series around Europe.
“But, I look back at it and I take a lot of wisdom (from it). It was a lot, I think I had like 260 flights during 2017 alone.”
“It feels good to be where I am right now.”
This is the latest chapter over a long journey that started in a the small town of Värnamo, Sweden.
The son of three generations of nail makers, Rosenqvist is proving he is as tough as his family’s former business.
The addition and quick ascension of Rosenqvist is just the latest compliment to the visionary who put this 2020 CGR lineup together — Chip Ganassi.
“I think Chip (Ganassi) is the most competitive person I know, and to have that person leading from the top, I think it really filters through the whole team,” Dixon said.
Qualifying Friday for the Iowa INDYCAR 250s – Race 2 NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, and speed in mph:
1. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 175.333 mph
2. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 175.024
3. (59) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 174.960
4. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 174.245
5. (88) Colton Herta, Honda, 173.437
6. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 172.523
7. (55) Alex Palou, Honda, 172.382
8. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 171.834
9. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 171.653
10. (10) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 171.336
11. (4) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 171.294
12. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 171.099
13. (7) Oliver Askew, Chevrolet, 170.970
14. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 170.797
15. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 170.574
16. (18) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 170.450
17. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 170.313
18. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 169.531
19. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 169.268
20. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 169.174
21. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 168.639
22. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 161.334
23. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, No Speed