Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 9/14/14

JOLIET, IL - AUGUST 29: Ryan Briscoe, driver of the #6 Team Penske Dallara Honda celebrates with second placed Scott Dixon driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda and third placed Mario Moraes after winning the IRL IndyCar Series PEAK Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy 300 on August 29, 2009 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)
The biggest shocker of this opening weekend for the Izod IndyCar Series at St. Pete has been how off Scott Dixon has been. The two-time series champion has been a non-factor both days and qualified a dismal 20th for Sunday’s Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete. His lap of 1:02.1715 in the No. 9 Target Honda was just off. To make matters worse, it’s very hard to pass around the 14-turn street circuit. There have been nine open wheel races around St. Pete and no one has won the race outside the top 10. In fact, the worst starting spot for the race-winner around the 1.98-mile circuit was ninth when Graham Rahal won here back in 2008. And it’s not just today’s qualifying session where Dixon was bad. He was 18th on the speed charts in the three combined sessions with a lap of 1:02.1850. He was 19th quickest in the second session yesterday and 14th in session one. We’re not sure yet what’s causing the issues for his team. Honda engines have been down in power a bit compared to Chevrolet engines, but Takuma Sato is on the front row and drives a Honda. Also, Dixon’s teammate Dario Franchitti will start 10th tomorrow and his other teammate Charlie Kimball rolls off 14th. Dixon is the second slowest Honda in the field and something needs to change tonight as there’s only one more warm-up session tomorrow to gear up for the 110 Lap race tomorrow afternoon. This is all a shocker in the paddock. Dixon had the numbers in his favor entering this season as he won his two championships in five year increments. His last was in 2008 which is five years ago. One thing that that Dixon can hang his hat on is he doesn’t normally race well in St. Pete. Outside of last year’s runner-up finish, he failed to finish in the top 15 the previous four years there. The last time he won the title he started 13th and finished 22nd in this race. The post IndyCar: Scott Dixon struggling badly at St. Pete appeared first on Race Review Online.

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