2021 Indianapolis 500 pole winner, Scott Dixon. [Photo by: James Black]
by Paul Gohde
It was a weekend that many had predicted as “old-timer” Scott Dixon beat the season’s “young guns” to capture the pole; but just barely. It was also a time of several surprises as Team Penske faltered, crowds were strong and Helio and TK showed that each one should (could) have a full-time IndyCar ride.
The three biggest surprises:
• Team Penske is an organization built on the idea that each of its drivers should have a car with no advantage over another team driver. Of all the team’s drivers to lead the qualifying parade, the results of rookie Scott Mclaughlin were most impressive compared to his teammates, if starting 17th could be labeled as impressive. Don’t even try to ask “The Captain” what went wrong as his other drivers: Josef Newgarden (21st), Simon Pagenaud 26th and Will Power (32nd), all having to struggle to find a place in the field. The Team Penske garage doors were shut shortly after qualifying ended. There are those who feel that the veteran presence in the team will help the aforementioned drivers work their way to the front by mid-race and become contenders at the finish. They have much work to do for that to happen next Sunday. We’ll find out more then.
• Scott Dixon was the first driver to hit the track for Saturday’s opening qualifying for the 35 entrants. The veteran New Zealander’s stellar run put him on the pole immediately; a run…