IndyCar Opening Week Notes: Scott Dixon Has Unfinished Business at St. Petersburg

sebring, fl during the 2024 test at sebring international raceway in sebring, florida photo by joe skibinski ims photo
Scott Dixon Out to Accomplish a First at St. PetePenske Entertainment/Joe Skibinski
  • Scott Dixon has started 19 consecutive NTT IndyCar Series races at St. Petersburg.

  • The Streets of St. Petersburg circuit has hosted the IndyCar series every year since 2003, with the exception of 2004.

  • The track is one of five courses on the schedule where the six-time series champion Dixon is winless.

There is very little that Scott Dixon hasn’t accomplished in a long and decorated career in IndyCar racing.

The six-time champion will address one of his few remaining roadblocks this weekend.

Dixon will be in search of his first win in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as the 17-race IndyCar season opens with one of its most popular events.


The 180-mile race on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street course is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. ET (noon broadcast on NBC) Sunday. Practice is scheduled Friday and Saturday, with qualifying set for 2 p.m. Saturday.

Dixon has started 19 consecutive races at St. Petersburg, which has hosted the IndyCar series every year since 2003, with the exception of 2004. The track is one of five courses on the schedule where Dixon is winless.

Still, Dixon has not been a slouch at St. Pete. He has four runnerup finishes and an average finish of 7.63 and was third last year.

Dixon, now on a streak of 322 straight IndyCar starts, is coming off a fine late-season run in 2023. He won three of the season’s final four races (Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Gateway and Laguna Seca) and finished runner-up to champion (and Chip Ganassi Racing teammate) Alex Palou.

Also Worth Keeping an Eye at St. Pete

Alex Palou, the series champ in two of the past three seasons, will be seeking to become the first driver since Dario Franchitti (2009-11) to win titles in back-to-back years.

• CGR’s Marcus Ericsson won last year’s season opener.

• Team Penske has won the pole position at St. Petersburg in 11 of the past 17 races. Penske’s Will Power is easily the standout in this department, having won nine of the past 14 poles on the street circuit. He is the IndyCar record-holder in poles with 70.

Callum Ilott, who has made 36 IndyCar starts, will replace David Malukas in the Arrow McLaren entry at St. Pete. Malukas was injured recently in a mountain biking accident and is not expected to return to competition until next month.

• The 2024 season will mark IndyCar’s switch to hybrid engines, but that project has been delayed and now is scheduled to go on track this summer.