TEAM TARGET HEADS FOR MID-OHIO
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Mid-Ohio Advance Notes
Race: Honda Indy 200 on Sunday, August 7 (2:00 PM ET, VERSUS)
Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile road course)
Location: Lexington, Ohio
Follow TCGR on Twitter: Follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Mid-Ohio: “Mid-Ohio is a special natural terrain race track that’s been the standard for American road courses since 1962. It’s been good to win here on six occasions, starting with Alex Zanardi in 1996. Scott and Dario had a great test there last week, so we’ll work as a team to carry that momentum through the weekend. Enhancing the mechanical grip level was on the top of the test list because the nature of the on and off camber corners, combined with the Midwestern summer temperatures, means that the winner will likely be the one who can get through the corners the smoothest during the long, green flag runs.”
TCGR History at Mid-Ohio: TCGR has compiled six wins in 31 starts at Mid-Ohio. The team’s first win came in 1996 with driver Alex Zanardi, who then went back-to-back as he took the checkered flag again in 1997. Juan Pablo Montoya continued the team’s success by taking the checkered flag in his first start at Mid-Ohio in 1999. Current TCGR drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti have gotten the team their three most recent victories at Mid Ohio with Dixon winning in 2007 and 2009, and Franchitti coming home first in 2010. In their 31 starts, TCGR has also racked up nine podiums, 18 top-fives and 22 top-10s. The average start for TCGR at the road course is 7.3 and their average finish is 8.1.
You Have to Finish: Target Chip Ganassi Racing has not had a DNF at Mid-Ohio since Jimmy Vasser and Montoya fell out of the 2000 edition of the race. Team Target cars have been running at the finish in 27 of 31 starts, and they have finished on the lead lap a total of 24 times.
Success in the Buckeye State: In 55 appearances in the state of Ohio, Target Chip Ganassi Racing boasts nine wins (Cleveland: 1997, 1998, 1999; Mid-Ohio: 1996, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2009, 2010) five poles, 16 podiums, 26 top-fives and 38 top-10s. TCGR has completed more than 90% of the laps run in those starts (4428 of 4900), and has been running at the finish of 45 races.
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Follow Scott on Twitter: Follow @scottdixon9 for all the happenings and inside information on the driver of the No. 9 Indy car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Mid-Ohio History: Dixon has made six starts at Mid-Ohio, with his first coming in 2001. In those starts, he has scored two wins (2007, 2009), three podiums, five top-fives and five top-10s. Dixon has not finished outside of the top-five since 2002, giving him a current streak of five consecutive races with a top-five finish. In his six career races at Mid-Ohio, he has completed every lap of competition (515 of 515) and has led 80 laps, all of which came during his two winning campaigns. His average start at the road course is 7.8 and his average finish is 4.5.
Did You Know?: If he wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Dixon will tie Emerson Fittipaldi for first on the all-time wins list at Mid-Ohio with three victories. Dixon is also the only driver to have finished inside the top-five in every race at Mid-Ohio since the IZOD IndyCar Series returned there in 2007.
Start Me Up: Dixon currently holds the second-longest active streak for consecutive starts in the IZOD IndyCar series with 117. The only driver with a longer streak is Tony Kanaan, who after Edmonton has run his mark to 142. He is also tied with Helio Castroneves for the third-longest streak for running at the finish with 17 consecutive races (Patrick-44, Franchitti-42).
Second Nature: Dixon is still trying to break through for his first pole and first win of the 2011 season. He has come very close to both achievements multiple times this year. He has finished second in four races so far this season (Barber Motorsports Park, Texas Race One, Texas Race Two and Toronto) and qualified second twice (Indianapolis and Toronto). His four runner-up finishes so far are the most he has had in one season since 2007, when he finished second six times.
Edmonton Recap: Dixon started the race from third and ran inside the top-three throughout the early stages of the race. After a lap 26 caution, Dixon found himself fifth before an on-track incident took him out of contention and forced the Target crew to go behind the wall to repair the damage. After spending five laps off track, Dixon returned and was able to move up three positions en route to a 23rd-place finish.
In the Points: Dixon is currently third in the overall point standings, 106 points behind leader and teammate Franchitti. He only trails Franchitti by three points in the AJ Foyt Oval Championship standings and by 103 points in the Mario Andretti Road Championship, which leaves him in seventh-place.
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 GE Team
Follow Dario on Twitter: Follow @dariofranchitti for all the happenings and inside information on the driver of the No. 10 Indy car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.
Franchitti at Mid-Ohio: Franchitti has made nine starts at Mid-Ohio with his best finish coming in the 2010 event, when he won his first race at the course after starting second. Including his victory, he has tallied four top-fives, four top-10s and two poles (1998, 1999). His average start in Lexington is 4.3 and his average finish is 11.2 at the 2.258 mile road course.
Riding a Wave: Franchitti is riding a streak of six consecutive top-10s, which is now the longest active streak in the IZOD IndyCar Series. He also has the second-longest active stretch for running at the finish with 42 consecutive races (Patrick – 44).
Four in a Row: Franchitti has been the IndyCar point leader following the last four consecutive races on the schedule (Milwaukee, Iowa, Toronto and Edmonton). His current four-race stay at the top of the table is his longest streak as the championship leader since he led from rounds six to 14 in 2007 (his first championship season).
That Was Close: In 2010, Franchitti took the checkered flag at Mid-Ohio by 0.523-seconds over second-place Will Power. That finish was the smallest margin of victory in the course’s history. The win also ranks as the third-closest finish at a street/road course in IZOD IndyCar Series history behind the 2009 events at Infineon Raceway (.245) and St. Petersburg (.462).
Finish Where You Start: Franchitti is one of two drivers (Power) to have at least one pole and one win this season. Franchitti qualified on the pole at Milwaukee, where he also picked up his third win of 2011. His other victories came in the season opener at St. Petersburg, Race One of the Firestone Twin 275s and the Honda Indy Toronto.
Edmonton Recap: Franchitti started the afternoon fourth and kept the No. 10 Target Honda inside the top-four for much of the early part of the race. Following a restart on lap 30, Franchitti avoided an accident in front of him, but dropped to 10th-place. He worked his way back into the top-five by lap 50 of the 80-lap event. Following the team’s final green flag stop, Franchitti moved into the top-three and stayed there for the remainder of the race. Franchitti took the checkered flag in third, scoring his seventh podium finish of the year.
In the Points: Franchitti now has a 38-point lead over second-place Power in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings. He also has a three-point lead over Dixon in the AJ Foyt Oval Championship standings, and a four-point lead over Power in the Mario Andretti Road Championship standings.