How does it feel for a team and driver to do everything right and still miss out on Indianapolis 500 glory? Autosport put the question to Michael Cannon, Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing engineer, after the five-time IndyCar Series champion lost the chance of a shootout to the chequered flag with now two-time Indy winner Takuma Sato.
“In Chip’s team, we just say, ‘OK, let’s move on. Let’s go and win the championship,'” he replies. “It’s unfortunate how things transpired, but we can’t change it now. Takuma Sato and Rahal Letterman Lanigan won the Indy 500. That’s it.”
It’s this attitude that makes the Ganassi team so admirable. One can picture the scene immediately post race – human dynamo that is highly practical team manager Barry Wanser making sure the troops carry on as normal in the post-race tear-down/pack away process, the smooth tones of managing director Mike Hull placating anyone who’s perhaps still steaming about the misfortune, and competition manager Chris Simmons (below, left with Dixon) taking a deep breath before shrugging off the disappointment then doubling down on the next rounds of the title race. He’s been there, done that, and experienced extreme highs and lows with Dixon and Dario Franchitti before this.