TEAM TARGET HEADS TO BARBER
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Advance Notes
Race: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, April 7
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Cars: No. 9 Target and No. 10 Target Hondas
Track: Barber Motorsports Park (2.38-mile road course) in Birmingham, Ala.
TV: NBC Sports Network (3pm ET)
Social: @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Unite: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and Novo Nordisk are supporting Charlie Kimball in a ‘Race With Insulin Unites’ campaign by uniting teammates from NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM Series to promote diabetes awareness. For the weekend of April 5-7 Kimball will sport his Race With Insulin paint scheme at Barber Motorsports Park, while NASCAR teammate Jamie McMurray will have a similar Race With Insulin paint-scheme at the NASCAR Spring Cup Series (NSCS) race in Martinsville. That same weekend, all fellow Chip Ganassi Racing teammate’s cars in INDYCAR, NASCAR and GRAND-AM will race with exclusive blue wheels to simulate the blue circle that is the global symbol for the International Diabetes Federation.
Barber Will Mark Dallara’s 200th INDYCAR Win: INDYCAR Chassis manufacturer Dallara will win its 200th IZOD IndyCar Series race in Barber this weekend. Scott Dixon has the most victories (23) in that span since 1997 and Dario Franchitti is second (21).
NBC Sports Network TV Ratings Are Up: The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg delivered a 0.26 HH rating, up 53-percent vs. last year (0.17) and the best for an INDYCAR season-opener on NBC Sports Network (since 2009). The race delivered 388,000 viewers, a 78-percent increase vs. last year’s season opener (218,000). It was also the second-best season-opener for NBC Sports Network’s INDYCAR coverage (since 2009) behind only the 2010 race from Sao Paulo, Brazil (410,000). In the advertiser-coveted P18-49 demo, the race delivered 126,000 viewers, up 91% vs. last year (66,000).
Ganassi will Field Third Car at Barber: TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and the No. 01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley return to Barber Motorsports Park for the Porsche 250 as the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series shares the track with the IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend. The race is April 6th and will air on SPEED April 7th 5:30 PM (ET).
Highest Honda: In the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Dixon was the highest-finishing Honda-powered driver in fifth place – despite a turbo problem that limited his ability to use the full boost from the engine the final stint of the race.
Firestone Facts: Firestone Racing will bring more than 1,300 Firehawk race tires for use by IZOD IndyCar Series cars this weekend. Each car is allowed to use five sets of primary (black-sidewall), three sets of alternate (red-sidewall) and five sets of rain (grooved-tread) tires throughout the weekend. In a typical, dry race, each car must run a set of primary tires and a new set of alternate tires for at least two green-flag laps each during the race.
Title Talk: Should Dario Franchitti take home the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship, he will join A.J. Foyt as the only other driver to win five Indy car titles in his career. Franchitti won the title in 2007 and again from 2009-2011. Foyt holds the record, with a total of seven championships in his career.
99 Wins and Counting…: The Target Racing Program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, is just one win shy of the 100-win plateau. The first win for the program came in 1994 with Michael’s Andretti’s Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia, when the team was merely a two-car open wheel program. Ninety-eight wins later, the program’s umbrella not only includes involvement in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive team partnerships in motor racing history.
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow Target Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.9 and No.10 teams throughout the 2013 season by following “@TCGRTeams”.
CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
On his recent visit to the Sony Open to watch fellow Scotsman and ATP Tennis player Andy Murray, @dariofranchitti tweeted: “@tonykanaan @laurenbohlander & I here at the sony open ready to watch Andy Murray do his stuff!! Huge thanks @judmoo pic.twitter.com/pUjIy0E5U7”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR BARBER
Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team
In the Off-Weekend: Scott spent the weekend hanging with his wife and kids (Poppy-3, Tilly-1). They went to an Easter Egg Hunt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday morning with the kids.
Last Time at Barber: Dixon started third and remained in the top-two throughout the majority of the 90-lap race. He led 38 laps at the 2.38-mile course – clinching two bonus points for leading the most laps during the race. Dixon first took the lead on lap 27 after cycling through green flag pit stops as the No. 9 Target team came out ahead of the leader as they returned on track. Dixon gave up the lead on lap 66 during the final cycle of pit stops after losing time behind a slower car on track. The No. 9 team crossed the line 3.3709 seconds behind race winner Will Power.
Race Rewind: Dixon started St. Petersburg from the 20th position and began picking cars off one-by-one, working his way up to 17th in the opening laps. The No. 9 Target team ran a consistent race, focusing on conserving tires while making good fuel mileage. While running fourth in the closing stages of the 110-lap event, the team encountered a mechanical problem with the waste gate on the turbo, which prevented Dixon from getting maximum power from the engine. Despite this issue, he hung on and picked up an additional spot on the final lap to finish in fifth position.
The Ice Man Returns: The two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner returns in 2013 for his fifth season alongside four-time Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner (2007, 2010, 2012) Franchitti. Dixon is tied with Rick Mears for 10th place on the all-time Indy car wins list (1909-Present) with 29 victories and is tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.
Go with What you Know: 2013 marks Dixon’s 12th year with Team Target – the longest tenure for any driver in team history (1990-Present).
Dario Franchitti and No. 10 Banana Boat Team
In the Off-Weekend: Dario spent his Sunday in Miami, Florida, where he enjoyed taking in some tennis at the Sony Open and watched fellow Scotsman Andy Murray beat David Ferrer, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), taking him to No.2 in the world ATP rankings.
Last Time at Barber: The No. 10 team started the race from ninth row in 18th position. Franchitti worked to find the balance of the car all day, moving in and out of the top-15 throughout much of the race. The team was able to gain some ground in the closing laps, improving three positions in the last 10 laps for a 10th-place finish.
Race Rewind: After qualifying 10th at St. Petersburg, Franchitti maintained his position mid-pack until pitting for his first stop on Lap 17. Following the stop, the No. 10 car made contact with the wall while coming off pit lane on cold tires, resulting in left front-end damage. As a result, the No. 10 Target team retired early due to the sustained damage.
Dario Returns: Four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner, Franchitti, returns to TCGR in 2013 for his fifth season alongside two-time Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner, Dixon. Franchitti 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.
Rarified Air: Dario is one of only five drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same season more than once. By winning the 2012 Indianapolis 500, he became just the 10th driver in history to win the race three times.