OpEd – Who made the #DickMove on Sunday?

Editor’s Note: Today’s OP-Ed piece comes from one of the long-time fans of the site and occasional contributor John Olsakovsky. If you have an opinion about motorsports that you’d like to share with the world, do what John did! Write up your thoughts and send it to us in an email or hit us up on Facebook! Afterall, this is motorsports commentary for the fans, BY the fans.

JDC_SONOMA13_3240-A_smSunday’s GoPro Grand Prix at Sonoma was a farce. I hesitate to call it a race. Dixon said Power’s tire changer made a “dick move” during the final pit stop, and I’ll get to that. However, Sunday’s race was punctuated with a multitude of phallic actions. There were more dick moves in Sunday’s “race” than a porno film.

It’s Monday morning, and unless you work for or worship Chip the Hutt, you’re probably pretty clear that Dixon was in the wrong and he cut through Power’s pit stall and striking a tire carried by one of Power’s crew. The crew guy took a tumble onto another crew member, resembling a Three Stooges outtake. Fortunately, all are healthy and only some scrapes and bruises.

Dixon got the hashtag #DickMove trending after the race yesterday when he told Kevin Lee, “That was a bit of a dick move right there, to be honest.” That one sentence fragment set fans ablaze, and the Twitterati started questioning the family lineage of the opposition almost immediately.

[youtube_sc url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkLgzYuR-qE]

Here’s a transcript of Dixon’s words as he watched the replay for the first time, live on NBC Sports Network, with Kevin’s microphone in his face:

“This is the first time I’ve seen it. See, he’s walking straight into our car. You can see where the other car is. He’s walked toward us on purpose. Ummm. That’s probably the most blatant thing I’ve seen in a long time. If you watch most pit guys, they try to get out of the way of other people, so that was a bit of a dick move right there, to be honest. So, I’m pretty annoyed with that. You know, we had a strong car all day and if that’s the way they want to try and win, you know, that’s pretty bad.” — Scott Dixon, #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing

As a Monday Morning crew chief, it’s easy to know that Dixon simply didn’t know all the details, as all he saw was the replay on Kevin’s jerk-cam. Drivers don’t know all the details of an incident when they first get out of the car, and I don’t think it’s fair to expect him to. However, there’s one important detail missing from Dixie’s initial interview. He did not express any concern for the crew member that was struck. Instead, Scott infers that the tire changer intentionally entered the path of the 9 car. That right there is a dick move.

We all know racing is dangerous, and not just for the drivers. Pit crews, journalists, marshalls and even fans are always at risk under race conditions. The hazards for anyone at a motorsports event are numerous. Accidents cause car parts to go wherever the forces direct them. Equipment gets loose. Shoot, the dust kicked up at a track Sonoma when someone drops a wheel can sandblast anyone nearby.

IndyCar, like other top-level racing series is a travelling circus. Everyone knows most everyone else involved, from the drivers and teams to the sponsors, the Holmatro Safety Crew, the media, officials, and so on. It’s a pretty close-knit community, and it transcends teams and even the series. Racers tend to look out for one another. And Dixon didn’t say a damn thing about the crew guy he nearly hit. Whether or not Dixon felt he was at fault, there should have been some measure of concern for a member of the IndyCar traveling circus.

I like Scott Dixon, although I’m not so enamored with his boss. Scott is a genuinely nice guy, and I don’t believe for a second that he doesn’t feel for Power’s tire guy. I’m positive that he is glad there is nothing major. I’d expect that Scott will take him out for a beer or something. He is that nice a guy. However, not expressing any concern for an incident? Sorry, Scott. That’s the dick move of the race, and you’re the one who made it.

Related posts

5 Thoughts to “OpEd – Who made the #DickMove on Sunday?

  1. Shove a microphone in a guys face in the heat of the moment right after he gets out of his car after getting the race taken away from him by a penalty…. of course he’s going to say something that he will regret. I expect that we will get an apology out of him shortly. Which is worse, Scott’s callous treatment of this situation, or Helio trying to take on Charles?

    My own opinion is that IndyCar and Sonoma are more responsible for this altercation than Scott or the tire changer. Paint some appropriate lines on the pit boxes. Use paint that can easily be removed after the weekend is over. It’s ok if half of it rubs off with tires accelerating over them through the course of the weekend…. just get some paint to delineate the pit boxes.

    1. Chalk lines is what I had in mind, but same basic idea, Mike. Create some clear delineation of the pit boxes.

  2. oregonwings

    I’m in agreement with Mike and Doug above about the pit box delineation needing to be more clearly defined. Also, how much time did they give Scott to really respond? Scott had to know via radio that the Penske crew was okay, and Dixon’s own crew chief already expressed earlier on TV that he was just happy nobody was hurt.

    One thing that concerned me most about this incident was the lack of cautionary awareness of the right rear tire guy. I don’t care if pit boxes are 50 feet wide. That guy wasn’t even looking in the direction of traffic coming at him. Reminds me of photog who was hit by tire at F1 Germany. Always, always look at traffic coming towards you.

    1. I will say, though, Mike, that what the tire changer appeared to be focused on was getting around the back of Power’s car. His right elbow was only about 12-14″ away from Power’s rear wing endplate when he got clipped by Dixon, and he looked like he was about to take a step just a few inches behind where the air jack guy was positioned. I’m certain that this is how their pitstops are practiced, and the YouTube video that’s out there of the stop just prior to the incident at the end of the race showed that the Penske/Power stop was basically identical, from the way the jack man was standing to the way the tire carrier moved to the way he carried the tire. The main difference, to my eye, from the stills I’ve seen from overhead, is that Dixon’s exit trajectory from his pit stall was about a tirewidth closer to Power’s car than on previous stops (there’s a burnout mark there that makes for a great tell tale). The way I see it is that the tire changer was going about his job exactly as he had about 30 minutes prior, but this time Dixon arrived a little earlier and about a foot and change closer than before. Could the changer have been a little more careful? Maybe, but I’m not really sure what he could have done differently to avoid getting hit. Dixon cut through basically an entire car width’s worth of Power’s box. When there’s a race car and 5-6 crew guys in there at the time, that ain’t cool.

      1. oregonwings

        I completely agree that Dixon should have turned his wheel more, that much is obvious. I can’t remember, but did Dixon and Power pit at exactly the same time in the previous stint? I’m curious as to whether he had to worry about the other car at that point or not. I’m also curious about how they walk the tires back behind the wall so quickly now. Didn’t it used to be that the right rear tire guy would grab the tire from the front right guy and stack it on top of a rear tire sitting flat on the ground? I really haven’t payed too close attention to such details in a long time. Either way, yes I agree that Scott Dixon accidentally clipped the edge of Power’s pit box. By how much is hard to tell with the poor marking of said pit boxes. I don’t think the tire guy did it intentionally, otherwise he wouldn’t have been so nonchalant and would have had a more intense look about him. My feeling is that it is just unwise for anyone working that tire to not at least be on the lookout for danger. This is beside the point whether Dixon clipped the pit box or not. In general if someone had done a Takuma Sato into Dixon, the tire guy would have never seen a car coming at him in an even more direct route. Of course it could be argued whether or not a tire guy could even avoid such an incident, but I’m just saying that they should keep their eyes towards the oncoming traffic as much as possible for safety reasons.

Comments are closed.