Scott Dixon’s wife slams IndyCar officiating after Long Beach

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, Long Beach, IndyCar (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, Long Beach, IndyCar (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images) /

Scott Dixon’s wife Emma called out IndyCar race control after Sunday afternoon’s race on the streets of Long Beach, California.

From a result standpoint, it was a historically bad day for six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon in Sunday afternoon’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach, California.

The driver of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 9 Honda was officially forced to retire with a mechanical issue after 37 laps of the 85-lap race around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile (3.167-kilometer) temporary street circuit.

But things went south for him long before that when he was run into by Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, sending him into the tire barrier in turn eight.

Dixon ended up being scored in 27th place when it was all said and done. It was his first last place finish since 2019, his first DNF since 2021, his second DNF in the last four years, and his worst result since his 2017 Indy 500 crash.

Emma Davies Dixon, the wife of the 2008 Indy 500 winner, has voiced her opinion on certain IndyCar-related topics before, and that held true after Sunday’s race.

She commented the following on IndyCar on NBC’s “Who needs gloves, anyway?” Instagram post relating to Dixon’s quote about “all gloves are off” regarding racing etiquette.

"“Such a shame that an amazing series like INDYCAR still get race control so wrong. Makes the series look bad. No consistency, just look at last year’s Long Beach race too. Such a shame. We love this series but race control sucks.”"

The comment has since been removed, but it is a fair assessment after everything that happened on the streets of Long Beach on Sunday.

Considering some of the penalties that were issued in the first street race of the year in St. Petersburg, Florida, it was surprising that O’Ward’s late lunge on Dixon went unpenalized.

Many, including O’Ward himself, were critical of O’Ward’s driving on Sunday, though he refused to apologize for the move that sent Dixon into the tire barrier. He tried a similar move a little bit later in the race, in the same corner, which resulted in his own No. 5 Chevrolet going for a spin.

The driver who entered the weekend as the points leader and started the weekend by topping the speed chart in both of the first two practice sessions ultimately settled for 17th place, one lap off the lead lap, and lost his points lead to Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson.

But what really had Dixon irritated on Sunday, to the point where he justifiably called it a “joke”, was IndyCar’s start procedure.

IndyCar uses double file starts for all races, but in certain street course races, nobody really seems to care about that rule.

In all fairness, the Long Beach turn 11 hairpin makes it difficult, but there is no excuse for the fact that there were literally two rows — out of 14 — that actually looked double file on Sunday afternoon.

Dixon, who dropped from his fifth place starting position on “row” three to seventh, by actually trying to line up appropriately, mentioned the fact that some of the drivers behind him were basically timing the start and went before polesitter Kyle Kirkwood, the Andretti Autosport driver who went on to secure his first career win.

Though he didn’t name names, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was the obvious culprit, picking up four spots — on the outside — before turn one, moving him from eighth to fourth place.

Of course, as they say, don’t hate the player; hate the game. As long as the double file procedure isn’t enforced, you can’t really criticize Newgarden for what he did.

All in all, it was a weekend to forget for the 53-time race winner, who remains in search of his first Long Beach win since 2015.

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Dixon still sits in sixth place in the championship standings heading into the season’s fourth race at Barber Motorsports Park, one of the few venues where he has never managed to stand on the top step of the podium. The Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 30.