For Dixon, Milwaukee offered some early signs of a possible Ganassi renaissance after an unusually poor first half of the 2013 season to date. "I think we went down a road earlier in the year and now we're just trying to regroup and find our way," he said. "Maybe we're lacking confidence in our changes with the car but we'll work hard and get better.
"We had a good day but went back and forth on some things," he continued. "We had understeer in the middle of the corner and the car snapped coming off. We had a bit better car then we showed. I got ran wide on the restart by Kanaan and didn't quite agree with it but then again what can you do."
Dixon finished just ahead of longtime race leader Takuma Sato, whose day had really unravelled with that scare on lap 183 and then the timing of the final caution which had left him unable to do better than seventh place by the finish.
"What an eventful and exciting race it was," he said. "Every pit stop we adjusted on the car and then the car started working really well. By mid race the ABC Supply car was beautiful and I was so enjoying driving it. The car was so strong in clean air and very strong in traffic as well.
"We were really happy with the whole balance of the car in the middle stint, but then unfortunately there was such a sudden loss of the rear grip towards the end of the race and I got high and lost track position," he lamented. "We thought there was an issue so we decided to pit as soon as our pit window opened and then try to charge back with fresh tyres. We were confident we could do it, but then the yellow came out and that was very bad timing for us because it put us behind those who hadn't pitted yet.
"They were able to pit and get ahead of us which is why we lined up in seventh," he confirmed. "Then they had fresher tyres too so it was really tough to pass them back. The boys did a great job with the pit stops all day long and I thought we could have brought a smile to AJ and we nearly did. It was still a great race, but it was so disappointing in the end - really a shame."
Sato was left sandwiched between Dixon and his Ganassi team mate Dario Franchitti, the Scot ending up as the last man still on the lead lap by the chequered flag despite starting under the ten-place penalty.
"Obviously we didn't have a great qualifying effort and then we took the engine change penalty before the race," Franchitti said. " We started in the back, made some good progress, but it was difficult to pass.
"The guys made good calls to keep me in the hunt but keeping the car pointed straight was a challenge - to pass people was very tough," he continued. "The cars are so close, so the series might be a victim of their own success right now. We need to start allowing something to differentiate when guys get it right and wrong."
The best of those to have been picked off the leaders during the 250-lap event was Justin Wilson, who finished in ninth place ahead of Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan who has suffered from intermittent communications problems for much of the afternoon.