TEAM TARGET READY FOR SONOMA
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Sonoma Advance Notes
Race: GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday, August 26 (4:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports)
Track: Race Sonoma (2.31-mile road course)
Location: Sonoma, California
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
Making History Together: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012. Since its formation, Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) has amassed 89 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including four Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010, 2012). The 2012 season includes two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NASCAR Sprint Car Series (NSCS) for 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya. Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Sonoma: “Passing opportunity is a hot button for the road and street tracks – Sonoma and INDYCAR have responded in partnership with modifications to Turn 7, Turn 9 and Turn 11 for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix. This makes the new Turn 7 more like the new Turn 11 with lengthened and widened braking zones. Sonoma is a natural terrain circuit with two-story floor to ceiling elevation changes. Dario and Scott will work with their Target Honda’s to create grip in fully loaded on and off camber corners. The Sonoma Indy specific configuration is very technical. The track length is now 2.31 miles, plus the race distance is lengthened from 75 to 85 laps, so it’s three stops which will provide revised and more exciting pit strategy variations. Keep your eyes open this Sunday as it will come down to the last lap. We’re racing on the NBC Sports Network this week at 4:30 p.m. ET.”
Modified Track Layout: The raceway unveiled a newly modified track layout, which features changes to Turns 7, 9 and 11 which are designed to enhance passing. With the modifications, the track will be 12 turns and 2.31 miles and race distance will increase from 75 to 85 laps.
TCGR at Sonoma: TCGR drivers have made 15 starts at Sonoma in seven races, earning two victories (2007, 2009), three poles (2005, 2006, 2009), four podiums, eight top-fives and leading 158 laps. Team Target drivers have an average start of 6.3 and an average finish of 6.8 at the 2.31-mile road course.
Percentage Points: Team Target drivers have finished on the podium in four of 15 starts at Sonoma, or 27 percent. Of a possible 545 laps, TCGR has led 158 laps, or 29 percent. TCGR drivers have started in the top-five on eight occasions, or in 53.3 percent of those starts.
TCGR on the Road: Dating back to 1990, TCGR has participated in 79 races on road courses, with a combined 151 starts. In those starts, Team Target has earned 21 wins, 12 poles, 47 podiums and 67 top-five finishes. TCGR has led 1,163 laps out of a possible 6,203, or 18.7 percent.
On Target: Since becoming Target teammates in 2009, Dixon and Franchitti have participated in 13 races on road courses, making 26 starts between the two. In those 26 starts, Dixon and Franchitti have earned six wins, three poles, 17 podiums and have led 349 laps. Dating back to 2009, together the pair holds an average start of 4.8 and an average finish of 4.6.
Topping the Charts: Franchitti and Dixon rank first and second, respectively, in the number of victories among active, full-time drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Franchitti is tied for seventh on the all-time wins list with Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy at 31 victories. Dixon is currently tied with Rick Mears for 10th on the all-time wins list with 29.
150 Wins for CGR: TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last weekend, marking the 150th victory for Chip Ganassi Racing across all series in which they compete. Scott Dixon, driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, brought home the 149th win in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier in the month. Chip Ganassi Racing’s first win came from Indy car driver Michael Andretti at Surfers Paradise Australia in 1994.
Honda Power: Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 84 points, -12 markers behind Chevrolet. Lotus is third with 48 points.
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently re-launched an updated mobile application, which is one of the first for the high-velocity world of racing. The application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of CGRT. The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – NSCS, IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Click here to visit the iTunes Application store and download the CGRT mobile app.
SCOTT DIXON AND THE NO. 9 TARGET TEAM
Dixon on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 9 Target Honda by following Dixon’s personal twitter account, @scottdixon9.
Connected: Fans can check out Dixon’s season-long blog throughout the 2012 campaign on www.Racer.com.
Mid-Ohio Recap: Dixon qualified fourth and ran the opening stint of the 85-lap race in that position until making his first green-flag pit stop of the day on Lap 29. After pit stops cycled through, Dixon found himself in second, where he continued to tick off laps as fast as the leader. On Lap 57, the No. 9 Target Honda made its final scheduled pit stop of the day. A quick stop propelled Dixon past leader Will Power. Dixon took the lead upon the completion of green flag stops on Lap 59 and didn’t look back. He led the rest of the race en route to his second victory of the season and 29th overall, tying him for 10th on the all-time wins list with Rick Mears.
Career at Sonoma: In seven starts at Sonoma, Dixon has one win (2007), two podiums, four top-five finishes and has led 57 laps. He has zero DNFs (Did Not Finish) at the 2.31-mile road course, completing all 545 laps run since 2005. He has an average start of 5.9 and an average finish of 6.3.
Sonoma Rewind: Dixon started the race fifth and ran inside the top-five throughout the opening of the 75-lap race. After the first round of green flag pit stops, he maintained his top-five position and kept pace with his Target teammate Franchitti. Following the second round of green flag stops, Dixon held on to his top-five spot and closed the gap on the four cars in front of him. On a restart with six laps to go, Dixon fended off challenges from behind and drove the No. 9 Target Honda to a fifth-place finish.
Right on the Road: In 35 starts on road courses, Dixon has nine wins, three poles, 15 podiums and 21 top-five finishes. He has led 397 laps out of a possible 2,688, or 14.8 percent. He has an average start of sixth and an average finish of 5.3.
Road Trophy Chase: Dixon is one of five drivers that are mathematically eligible for the Mario Andretti Road Course Trophy. He currently ranks second to Power.
In the Points: After 12 rounds, Dixon remains fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, but gained 33 points on the leader after Mid-Ohio. He now has 351 points, -28 points behind new leader, Power.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. After his fourth win at Mid-Ohio, Dixon is now tied for 10th with Rick Mears on the all-time wins list with 29 and is tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.
DARIO FRANCHITTI AND THE NO. 10 TARGET TEAM
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 Target Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
To the Front: Franchitti has a series-high eight front row starts this season. The No. 10 Target driver is currently riding a streak of six consecutive front row starts, which includes three consecutive poles (Milwaukee, Iowa, Toronto).
Mid-Ohio Recap: For the sixth consecutive race, Franchitti started on the front row, qualifying second. The No. 10 team got off to a good start, running the opening laps of the race in second. After making his first pit stop of the day on Lap 27, Franchitti returned to the 2.258-mile course in fourth. Running on a two-stop fuel strategy, Franchitti made his second pit stop on Lap 57 and again rejoined the field in fourth. On Lap 59, the No. 10 made contact with another car and was forced to pit road for an unscheduled pit stop to replace the front wing. Franchitti exited the pits for the final time in 18th and eventually finished the day in 17th.
Career at Sonoma: In six career starts at Sonoma, Franchitti has one win (2009), four podiums and has never finished lower than eighth. In 2009, Franchitti won from the pole at Sonoma, leading all 75 laps of the race. The driver of the No. 10 Target Honda has completed all 465 laps in his six starts at the 2.31-mile road course and has led 137 laps, or 29.5 percent.
Sonoma Rewind: Franchitti started the afternoon fourth and kept the No. 10 Target Honda inside the top-four for much of the first run of the race. After the first round of green flag pit stops on Lap 27, Franchitti maintained his top-four position throughout the run and came in for his final pit stop under green with 25 laps to go. On a late race restart with six laps remaining, Franchitti held off Target teammate Dixon to finish fourth.
Road Warrior: In his Indy car career, Franchitti has participated in 48 races on road courses, earning four victories, five poles, 20 podiums and leading 338 laps. He has an average start of 6.4 and an average finish of 9.5.
On the Podium: Franchitti is the active leader in Indy car podium finishes with 86, which is seventh on the all-time list. He will tie Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr. for fifth with two more podium finishes.
In the Points: Franchitti holds eighth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 271 points, -108 behind Power.
Making History: Franchitti is a four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, bringing home titles in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He is tied for seventh on the all-time wins list with 31 and holds sole possession of eighth on the all-time poles list with 29.