INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Dixon’s fight to get his second Indianapolis 500 win hit a major snag early in the 2023 running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda plummeted from fourth on Lap 18 to 14th on Lap 25.
The following lap, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner started the first sequence of pit stops and was 21st after everybody cycled through the pits.
Dixon identified the problem as one with the left rear tire.
“On the measurement it was five times any kind of out of balance we’ve ever had,” Dixon said. “We checked the wheels, they all had the wheel weights on them and it was only that one set. Soon as it started to vibrate, it got so loose.”
The crew made front and rear wing adjustments and changed tire pressures, but that only threw Dixon that much more off course as the crew had to chase after their earlier adjustments.
“It wasn’t blistered,” an exasperated Dixon said of the tire. “There was no, we can’t see anything done to it. But as soon as it starts to vibrate like that, you can’t even, it doesn’t even accelerate. It’s so weird.”
Dixon pitted under the yellow for Sting Ray Robb’s accident shortly before the race’s halfway point. After exiting the pits 16th, Dixon moved to 12th by the next pit stop sequence and moved to ninth by not pitting under the caution for Romain Grosjean’s accident.
Pato O’Ward’s wall contact brought Dixon up to sixth place on Lap 193 where he remained for the race’s final seven laps.