SPEEDWAY, Ind. -
This afternoon at the Speedway, reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, was a part of history at the IMS.
Dixon placed the final two letters of 'Indianapolis Motor Speedway', above the gate 1 entry way. The new lettering will be the first example of a few changes that fans will see as they file into the facility.
"For me to put a couple bolts in and take the flag off," Dixon said Wednesday afternoon, "I feel very privileged to be a part of it."
"He's the defending Verizon IndyCar series champion, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner, he's somebody who really knows what it means to compete here at the speedway and win at the speedway," IMS President Doug Boles said at the lettering. "To have him be part of this, especially because he lives in Indianapolis, is a pretty special moment."
The letter placing this afternoon marked another key in the project 100 milestone. The Grand Prix is this weekend and the main event of the month is just 18 days away. The next Project 100 milestone will be the placement of the famous Wing and Wheel above the new gate 1. It will take place during race week of the 100th running.
"Things change and they've obviously been going through a lot of updates at the speedway," Dixon said. "It's kind of out with the old and in with the new and more redeveloped. The improvements they've made have been tremendous."
While the excitement of the Indy 500 vastly overshadows the Grand Prix, the race on Saturday is very important for Dixon, who's focused on gaining some momentum in the month of May. The reigning series champion sits in 2nd in the standings, 48 points behind Simon Pagenaud.
"I wish it was a little bit closer to Pagenaud," Dixon said. "This is time to peak. Hopefully we have enough momentum coming in. The Grand Prix for myself hasn't been too kind to me in past. We've got our fingers crossed and we'd like to sweep the month but we know how difficult that can be."
The Grand Prix is this Saturday at 3:50 P.M.