Scott Dixon believes more testing before last weekend’s Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at the Texas Motor Speedway would have lessened the chances of what was seen on Saturday night, with pack racing the name of the game, something that drivers dislike.
The track had undergone improvements and re-profiling since the 2016 event, with a wider track and revised banking angle, but Dixon believes there was not enough testing to ensure the correct downforce levels for the event.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver admitted that whilst it properly looked good for the spectators around the 1.5-mile oval, the drivers themselves were not enjoying the experience, and with just seven cars seeing the chequered flag after a number of crashes, he hopes this can be addressed for future races in order to avoid a repeat.
Dixon himself was eliminated whilst battling for the lead in the closing laps after being tagged by Takuma Sato when the Japanese racer touched the grass on the front straight and struck Dixon’s car, while Max Chilton and Conor Daly were also caught up in the incident.
“We’ve seen it before: it’s such a fine line between creating great racing and being in a pack race again,” said Dixon to Motorsport.com. “Nobody really – except maybe the spectators – wanted to see how it turned out in Texas this year.
“Visually it was probably pretty exciting, but for the drivers it wasn’t that enjoyable. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a race with that many cars eliminated…
“It’s difficult because there are always so many pieces to the puzzle. The biggest thing everyone could have done with is more testing there.
“Unfortunately when we did the first tyre test not many people ran and teams sandbagged a lot so that made it difficult. In the part of the day when we ran 220mph average laps, the Penskes were running 213s, so it’s hard to get a feel of where the track’s gonna go.”