INDIANAPOLIS -- While his team struggled with setup and speed, Scott Dixon has flown under the radar during preparations for the Indianapolis 500. Its exactly how he wants it. Its how he has tried to be his entire career. "I like to live simply," Dixon said. As such, one of the most decorated drivers of the last decade goes grossly underappreciated for his accomplishments. Hes the Jimmie Johnson of IndyCar, the driver tearing through the record books with his eye on the top names in series history. Dixons 33 career victories rank seventh all-time, and three more wins would leapfrog him past Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Unser into fourth place. The only drivers who rank higher than Dixon in victories right now have the last name Andretti, Foyt and Unser. Since joining Chip Ganassi Racing in 2002 while the team still raced in the now-defunct CHAMP Car Series, Dixon has won at least one race in every season except two. He has an Indianapolis 500 win on his resume, and his three IndyCar championships -- spread out in 2003, 2008 and 2013 -- show a consistency and longevity thats hard to match. At just 33 years old, he conceivably has almost another decade of racing ahead of him. But hes worked in the shadow of some huge personalities and some of open-wheel racings biggest stars. When Dario Franchitti joined the Ganassi organization in 2009, Dixon watched his famous teammate reel off three consecutive championships and two Indy 500 wins. In that same span, Dixon finished second in the championship once, third three times, and finished second to Franchitti in the 2012 Indy 500. Living in Franchittis shadow never bothered him. "I preferred that, actually," said Dixon, who will start Sundays Indy 500 in 11th, in the fourth row. "When I come out of the truck and everyone is standing around waiting, they all chased after Dario and I could just get on the scooter and ride off and get to work. Ive never had any problem not having the spotlight on me." Franchitti is on the sidelines now, forced into retirement last November from injuries suffered in a crash at Houston a month earlier. The imposing 1-2 attack of the two red Target cars has been broken up. It means Dixon finally has the team to himself, but he doesnt view it that way -- he maintains its always been owner Chip Ganassis team -- and the laid-back New Zealander isnt seeking any fame. Its a shame, because hes earned the attention. "Hes achieved so much, hes one of the most successful of all time, but a lot of people dont know that," said reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, a fan favourite and Franchittis replacement this year in the Ganassi organization. "He just does his job. Is he more famous than me? Not really. But were not talking about that. Its not what his goal is. Hes doing exactly what he wants to do." Dixon excels at striving for more and putting in the work toward continuing to improve his race craft. "He doesnt stop learning. He doesnt allow what hes just done to be the high point in his life, in his career. He only uses that as a springboard for the next day," said Mike Hull, Ganassis managing director and the strategist atop Dixons pit stand. "We just do not stop learning together, and he represents us. I wish we could clone him, to be honest about it, moving forward because hes the kind of person you need driving your race cars." In his 13th season with Ganassi, Dixon is easily the longest tenured driver in organization history. The team owner says the longevity is because Dixon "doesnt seem to carry much baggage with him." For an owner who dislikes drama or having to massage egos and manage personalities, Dixon is his easy child. As for where Dixon ranks among the all-time greats, Ganassi doesnt want to be part of the conversation. "Were obviously very proud to have Scott," Ganassi said. "When you talk about legacies ... that will be something someday for you in the media to talk about. I dont think its our position in the race team to talk about that. We certainly think his name deserves to be up there as well." Colorado Rockies Jerseys
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.Brothers B.J. and Justin Upton each homered and had an outfield assist, and the Braves held on for a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.CALGARY - The Calgary Flames did not make the playoffs for a fifth straight year. The difference between this spring and the previous four is the Flames did not underachieve this time around. When since-deposed general manager Jay Feaster brought himself to say the word "rebuild" last summer, it confirmed following the departure of Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester that the Flames were going to be a lunchbucket squad until new stars emerged or were acquired. Calgary (35-40-7) finished 27th in the 30-team league this past season and second-last in the Western Conference above only Edmonton. The 77 points was the teams lowest total since 2002-03. The Flames went 19-14-1 after brawling with the Canucks in Vancouver on Jan. 18, but they were already in next-year territory after winning just nine games through November and December. The slow start opened the door to audition for the future. A dozen players made their NHL debut with the Flames this season. Calgary has a top-five pick in the NHL draft in June for the first time since 1973 when they were the Atlanta Flames. The Flames have a 10.7 per cent chance of winning the first overall pick in Tuesdays draft lottery. But in contrast with Oilers to the north — where people tossed jerseys on the ice in disgust — the Flames had more goodwill and patience from their fanbase. Calgary compensated for its lack of talent with tenacity. The Flames were involved in 49 one-goal games this season and went 25-24 in them. "The conclusion of a season that does not include playoff is a failure and we acknowledge that failure, but it was not a lost or wasted season in any sense of the word," said hockey operations president Brian Burke, who is also interim general manager until he hires a new one. "I think there were a lot of positive developments in this season that Im proud of. I think we gave (the fans) a product they enjoyed watching." Bob Hartley squeezed effort out of his group in his first full season behind the bench. The head coach has one year remaining on a three-year contract and Burke says Hartley will coach the team in 2014-15. "Once we get a general manager in place, Ill encourage that person to address that situation," Burke said. "Its not the end of the world when a coach works in the last year of his contract, but its not ideal. That will be up to the next GM." Hartley said prior to Calgarys home game "our report card still says we failed" but the coach said Monday that it was a "great day." "We decided late last year that we would get a new face to this organization. We would go with younger players," Hartley said. "From the inside — I dont know about the outside because Im not on the outside — from the inside, I saw commitment, I saw progress. Those guys gave us everything that they had." Unlike the previous four seasons when an expensive, veteran squad with stars on its roster fell short of the post-season, there was less disappointment and more optimism as the Flames packed their bags this time. With 22 goals, forward Sean Monahan became the first Flames rookie to score more than 21 since Iginla in 1996-97. The 19-year-old from Brampton, Ont., confirmed hell play for Canada in the world championships in Minsk, Belarus, next month. "Down the stretch, these last 20 games, carrying the puck, I felt more confident with the puck," Monahan said. "Thats somethiing I want to be able to do next year, be confident with the puck, make plays and I guess produce a little bit more.dddddddddddd" Monahan and veterans Matt Stajan and Chris Butler raved about Mark Giordanos leadership skills in his first season as captain. The 30-year-old was also a key contributor on the ice with 47 points and a plus-12 rating. Giordano played himself into consideration for Canadas Olympic team. He declined the chance to participate in the world championships, saying a hand injury needed time to heal. When he was healthy, Karri Ramo played himself to No. 1 on Calgarys goaltending depth chart with a 17-15-4 record. The Finn has one year remaining on a two-year contract. "The players like him because he battles," Burke said. "I think Karri Ramo has established that he deserves to come back here as the No. 1 goaltender." Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau, who led the NCAA in scoring, signed a contract on the weekend and scored in his first NHL game Sunday in Vancouver. The players believe theyve built a foundation upon which to build for next season. All eyes turn to Burke, who he chooses as his new GM and assistant GM and how they in turn handle the draft and Calgarys cap space in free agency. "The GM search, were going to approach teams that missed the playoffs," Burke said. "If they have candidates were going to approach them today, some of them. "If we have to wait until after the draft to fill that position, we will." Burke took over as interim GM when he fired Feaster in December. Burke was brought on board in September as hockey ops president to accelerate Calgarys rebuild. His goal is to make the Flames bigger, stronger and meaner. He acquired a second- and third-round draft pick at the March 3 trade deadline, but added no players to the team. "I think truculence is part of this game," Burke said. "Everyone likes to make fun of that word because the first time I used it, a lot of people said its kind of a new word in hockey, but its not. "I think tough teams win. You look at the St. Louis Blues. Theyve been a dominant team all year. Their average weight is 208 pounds. In the West (conference) especially, if youre not a hostile team with size, youre not going to have success. We need to get bigger." Mike Cammalleri, Calgarys leading scorer and most expensive player counting $6 million against the salary cap, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1 unless he re-signs with the Flames. "I dont have anything to report," the 30-year-old said. "Just had some exit meetings and talked to Brian. He said wed talk again. Today wasnt the day to talk about that sort of thing. Today was a day to address the season. I am far from having ruled Calgary out as far as my future." Butler, 27, will also be a UFA for the first time in his career. "Its a unique opportunity, being unrestricted and having control of your destiny and being able to choose potentially where you want to go," Butler said. "Its an opportunity not everybody gets and it is something you earn and you work for. "Its something Ill think about, but its still a few months away and its kind of hard to think about right now having just played last night and wearing that jersey for the last three years." Forwards Paul Byron, Joen Colborne, Lance Bouma and T.J. Galiardi are among Calgarys restricted free agents this summer. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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