At last the speculation is over and it came as no real surprise that New Zealand IndyCar racer Scott Dixon has re-signed with Chip Ganassi Racing for an undisclosed period of time.
The Kiwi may have done due diligence with his manager former F1 racer Stefan Johansson and looked at all the offers on the table, but all indicators were pointing towards him staying where he was. The age-old adage that if it ain't broke, don't fix it would have fitted nicely here.
Dixon is on track to win his fifth, that's right fifth, IndyCar championship with the team he started with back in 2002. He heads to Pocono this weekend for round 14 with three race wins already this season and a healthy 46-point lead over Alexander Rossi with just four races to go including this weekend's.
Why would you want to leave when he can achieve so much more with Ganassi yet?
There has been speculation he was off to Formula One with McLaren. No one of his caliber would be that reckless to go to a team that doesn't know which way is up at the moment, and who are a shadow of their former glory. Also, Formula One is rudderless at the moment with no clear direction, let alone a strategy, for the next five to seven years and is hemorrhaging fans like goods at a fire sale. Whereas on the other hand, IndyCar is growing its fan base, attracting high quality drivers and new teams.
He was in the running, apparently, to go to a new McLaren IndyCar team, which hasn't even been confirmed yet and most likely won't be. It would be a really good idea if Zack Brown and company sorted out their own F1 backyard before going to play in someone else's.
Ganassi also has a sports car race programme that Dixon is part of and has hinted in the past at how he'd like to transition into as his single seater time heads towards closure.
Dixon started his IndyCar career at PacWest Racing in 2000. When the team ran out of money three races into the 2002 season, Ganassi swooped in and picked up the young Kiwi. He must have seen something in the Aucklander, as he's the longest serving of Ganassi's drivers, an Indianapolis 500 winner and has been into victory lane 44 times. That particular number puts him only behind AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti on all time winners' list.
It's not beyond the pale to consider that if he sticks around for another four or five years, the 38-year-old could end by being the very best IndyCar racer ever.
I have interviewed a number of IndyCar racers over the years and the one common thread is they acknowledge you have to go through Dixon to win a championship. This season is starting to shape up to be one of his best with three wins so far and six top three finishes in 13 races. That's the stuff that makes championships.
There'll be a few ageists out there who think he is past his sell-by date. Well just ask 27-year old Josef Newgarden, 26-year-old Rossi and 28-year-old Robert Wickens just how hard Dixon races and how frustrating it is to either keep him behind you, or get past. This is bloke who made it onto the American Ninja Warrior show — he's by far the fittest driver in the paddock and it would be no surprise to see him lowering himself into an IndyCar in his late 40s if he chooses. And you can rest assured, it will be his choice.