“The greatest of all-time” debate has always seemed silly to me. It is nothing more than opinions and subjectiveness. Everyone is partial to their generation and partial to the era that they grew up around. Whether it is a traditional stick and ball sport or motor racing, all eras are different. Regulations change, technology advances, tracks, teams, and safety have changed the way drivers and athletes approach their craft.
Last Sunday, greatness was earned in the hills of the Californian wine country. Scott Dixon claimed his fifth championship and became the first driver in 51 years to have more than four since A.J. Foyt in 1967. His fifth championship cements himself second all-time behind A.J. Foyt with his seven while surpassing Mario Andretti, and former teammate, Dario Franchitti, with four.
The Iceman is also a winner of 44 grand prixs in his 18-year career. This achievement puts Dixon third all-time in that regard behind Mario Andretti’s 52 and A.J. Foyt’s 67. He also has 105 podiums, 29 poles, and is the owner of a Borg-Warner Trophy for his victory in the 2008 Indianapolis 500. He has done it all, and with the signing of a new multi-year deal at Chip Ganassi Racing, he has the opportunity to continue fortifying his legacy.
When I asked my father, whom he thought was best, he placed Mario ahead of Foyt. I know many who would put Foyt ahead of Mario. I’m sure there is someone who will say one of those Unser boys was the best there ever was. For me, Scott Dixon is the greatest IndyCar driver of all-time. He is the best of my generation, and one of the greatest anyone has ever seen. We can compare driver stats over the various eras, but at the end of the day, subjectiveness is powerful. And I don’t believe we would ever agree anyway.
Now, what was that about this conversation being silly?