Motor racing-Dixon has high hopes for new era with Johnson as teammate

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Scott Dixon, fresh off a sixth IndyCar title that put another stamp on his legacy, now looks ahead to a 2021 season in which he will not even be the most decorated member of his team with the arrival of NASCAR great Jimmie Johnson.

The pairing of Dixon and seven-times NASCAR champion Johnson brings together the most successful drivers of their generations in their respective formulas and not one ounce of ego.

“It’s pretty sad isn’t it?” Dixon, speaking to Reuters in a telephone interview, joked about having less championships than his new Chip Ganassi Racing team mate. “He’s coming in and taking all the glory.”

Dixon, who secured his latest IndyCar title with a third place finish on Sunday at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, has actually developed an off-track friendship with Johnson and is eager to learn from the rookie IndyCar driver.

Johnson, who co-holds the NASCAR Cup Series record with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for most premier series titles, and Chip Ganassi Racing confirmed last week that used car dealership network Carvana will sponsor his first year in IndyCar.

“I’m a huge Jimmie Johnson fan. And what the guy has done in his career is just crazy,” said Dixon. “I’m super pumped to work alongside him and hopefully pick up some tips.”

The 40-year-old New Zealander, who also won IndyCar titles in 2003, 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2018, said he never dreamed of attaining so many championships when he started racing and will keep driving so long as he remains competitive.

For now, Dixon will try to chase down A.J. Foyt’s all-time record of seven championships to become the greatest IndyCar driver.

“Seven does sound a lot better than six and that gets you to the point with A.J.,” said Dixon. “When we were on five and you talk about seven being the record it sounds quite far away, a lot further than just two numbers.

“But knowing that it’s just the next mark yes it’s achievable. It will be really, really difficult as they all are ... but you’ve got to have goals and seven is definitely the next one.” (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)