SCOTT DIXON has never raced at Pocono Raceway, In fact, until yesterday, all he knew was the mountaintop race track is in Pennsylvania.
Dixon, a two-time Izod IndyCar series champion, will be racing at 200-plus mph July 7 when the open-wheelers return to Pocono for the first time since 1989 for the Pocono IndyCar 400.
"I've spoken to [teammate] Dario [Franchitti] about it," Dixon said during a media session at XFINITY Live! "Even when you look at it on paper, it will be a fantastic track for us to race. There will be lots of passing and a monstrous [long] front straight. It's good for us to get back here."
Franchitti was one of the IndyCar drivers who tested at Pocono early last month. The testers gave thumbs-up to the recently repaved racing surface.
Four races into the IndyCar season, the consistent Dixon is fifth in points. Since winning his last IndyCar title in 2008 the 32-year-old New Zealander has finished in the top three in points every year. He has 29 career victories.
Dixon, runner-up in last year's Indianapolis 500, has raced in Pennsylvania before, winning an open-wheel event at Nazareth Speedway in 2001.
Joining Dixon yesterday was Ryan Briscoe. They'll be Ganassi Racing teammates for at least Sunday's Indy 500. They arrived in Philadelphia after qualifying at Indy over the weekend: Dixon will start 16th, Briscoe qualified 23rd. Last year, Briscoe was the Indy 500 polesitter. He finished fifth.
Briscoe lost his ride with Penske Racing after last season. This year, the 31-year-old Australian is racing full time in the American LeMans Series.
Briscoe hopes to find sponsorship, enabling him to race at Pocono and other IndyCar series venues.
"Today's IndyCar racing is some of the best racing in the world," he said. "I've been able to watch the first four rounds. It's awesome. It deserves more [attention]."