TCGR LOOKS FOR VICTORY NO. 2 OF THE SEASON
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Belle Isle Advance Notes
Race: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix (3:30 PM ET, ABC)
Track: The Raceway at Belle Isle (2.096-mile street circuit)
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
Managing Director, Mike Hull on Belle Isle: “This week our Honda-powered Target IZOD IndyCar Series cars will race in Detroit on Belle Isle. It’s a 982-acre island in the middle of the Detroit River centered between the skylines of downtown Detroit and Windsor, Canada. The island is larger than Central Park. The season started with street racing, and we’re back to it again. Our team will focus on what we call the mechanical grip side of the race car due to track surfaces and tight confines that are very similar to the pavement on your street. The concentration is to make the car turn well into the corners under very hard braking, while keeping the chassis off the ground and curbs to find the throttle faster than the competition. The track conditions change quickly as rubber gets put down, so this is a real driver’s track as he has to adapt quickly with drive-style changes – when Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon get it right, they do what all of us would like to do: not be caught speeding on a public road.”
Franchitti Wins Indianapolis 500: Franchitti gave TCGR its fourth Indianapolis 500 victory (2000: Juan Pablo Montoya; 2008: Scott Dixon; 2010: Franchitti; 2012) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sporting the No. 50 in celebration of Target’s 50th Anniversary, Franchitti led 23 laps to join an elite group of six individuals who are three-time Indianapolis 500 Winners. This win marks Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s 87th win, 96th for the overall Target Racing program and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ (CGRT) 146th in addition to the fifth time Chip Ganassi has drank milk as a winning car owner at the 500-mile race. This is the second time Franchitti and Dixon finished 1-2 at the Indianapolis 500 and the win brought Franchitti’s career win total to 31, tying Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais for seventh on the all-time Indy car wins list.
Making History Together: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd Anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012. Since its formation, TCGR has amassed 87 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 Dixon and Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NASCAR Sprint Car Series 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.
TCGR at Belle Isle: TCGR has seven top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes and has led 185 laps at the Raceway at Belle Isle. TCGR has claimed three poles at Belle Isle, the latest coming in 2008 with Dixon at the last event at the street course (Montoya 1999, 2000). Alex Zanardi won at Belle Isle for TCGR in 1998.
Honda Power: Honda enters this event second in Manufacturers’ Championship point standings with 33 points, trailing Chevrolet by nine.
Ganassi GRAND-AM Joins In: TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and the No. 01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley will join the IZOD IndyCar Series to compete in the Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200 at Belle Isle this weekend. This will mark the first GRAND-AM event at the Raceway at Belle Isle. The race will begin on Saturday, June 2 at 5:00 PM (ET) and will air on SPEED.
Pruett Returns to Belle Isle: TELMEX CGRFS driver Scott Pruett qualified on the pole at the Raceway in Belle Isle in 1996 in the CART Series. He went on to finish 10th, completing all 72 laps and leading one.
Taking over the Streets: Since 1990, TCGR has made 194 starts on street courses, earning 20 wins, 13 poles, 49 podiums and five double podiums.
By the Numbers: In 194 total street course starts, TCGR drivers have 74 top-five finishes (38.1%) and 111 top-10 finishes (57.2%). Out of a possible 16,979 laps, TCGR has led 1,460, or 8.6% of laps run on street courses since 1990.
Did you Know?: In the five seasons spanning from 1996 to 2000, TCGR drivers won at least one street course race every season, with a high total of five victories coming in 1998.
Success at Belle Isle: In the nine CART events held at the Raceway at Belle Isle (1992-2001), TCGR driver Zanardi won in 1998. Montoya claimed two poles for TCGR at Belle Isle during CART competition. In the only two IZOD IndyCar Series events (2007, 2008), Dixon earned pole in 2008. TCGR drivers have led 185 laps on the 2.096-mile street circuit.
There’s an App for that:
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.
Fans can check out Dixon’s season-long blog throughout the 2012 campaign on www.Racer.com
Indianapolis 500 Recap: Dixon rolled off 15th in his 10th Indianapolis 500 start. When the first caution flag waved on lap 14, the No. 9 had jumped to 11th. On a lap 19 restart, Dixon advanced up to seventh and continued his march to the front of the field, taking the lead on lap 75. As the race saw multiple rounds of green-flag stops, field-leading fuel-mileage and strong pit stops by the winning pit crew in the pit stop competition, kept Dixon in the top-two. Dixon and Franchitti would swap the lead back and forth for the rest of the race, with Dixon finally coming to the line in second.
Career at Belle Isle: In three starts at the Raceway in Belle Isle, Dixon has earned one top-five and two top-10s with an average starting position of 7.3 and an average finishing position of 11.7. His best start and finish came in 2008 where he started on the pole, led 18 laps and came home in fifth.
Strong on the Streets: In 39 starts on street courses, Dixon has two wins, one pole, eight podiums and 14 top-five finishes. His last victory on a street course came at Edmonton in 2010.
Last Time at Belle Isle: The last Indy car event at the Raceway at Belle Isle was in 2008 where Dixon earned the pole, led 18 laps and finished fifth. This finish allowed Dixon to maintain the lead in the IZOD IndyCar point standings over Helio Castroneves and eventually become the series Champion.
In the Points: After Indianapolis, Dixon sits fourth in IZOD IndyCar point standing with 153 points, 47 behind leader Will Power.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. He is tied for 11th with Johnny Rutherford on the all-time wins list with 27 victories. He is also tied with Emerson Fittipaldi in 18th on the all-time poles list with 17.
DARIO FRANCHITTI AND THE NO. 10 SUAVE TEAM
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 Suave Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
Suave with Franchitti on the No. 10 Honda:
The Unilever brand Suave joins as a primary sponsor on Franchitti’s car as he moves back to his traditional No. 10 car this weekend at Belle Isle and will be represented with a special new paint scheme. The paint scheme will see Franchitti’s familiar red Target car change to a gray Suave Professionals Men paint scheme that promotes Suave’s men’s line of hair and body car products. In addition, Unilever represents a wide range of products in food, personal and home care, nutrition and health and beauty. More information on Unilever and their brands can be found at www.unilever.com
Franchitti Drinks Milk at Indianapolis: Franchitti lined up 16th on the grid for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. By the first caution on lap 14, Franchitti worked his way up to 13th. As he came down pit road for his first pit stop, his No. 50 car was spun by another competitor and Franchitti was knocked into the pit-wall, requiring the crew to replace the front nose. He would return to the track 28th. A strong car and excellent fuel-mileage helped Franchitti work his way up to ninth by the time he made his second pit stop on lap 54. Franchitti continued his move to the front, running in the top-three for the remainder of the race, with the No. 50 and No. 9 swapping the lead amongst one another. Franchitti would take the lead for the final time on lap 198 to earn his third victory in the Indianapolis 500.
Career at Belle Isle: In six starts at Belle Isle, Franchitti has one win (1999), four top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes. Franchitti has led 44 laps at the 2.096-mile street course and has completed 464 laps out of the 465 possible. He has an average starting and finishing position of 4.2 and fifth, respectively.
King of the Streets: Franchitti has participated in 63 street course races, earning 11 victories, nine poles, 24 podiums and 32 top-fives. He has completed 4,691 of the 5,515 laps run on street courses and has led 762 laps, which is 13.8% of all the laps completed on street courses during his career.
Franchitti’s Latest Try at Belle Isle: Franchitti’s last attempt at the Raceway at Belle Isle was in 2007 where he started second and finished sixth, leading 27 laps of the 89-lap race.
In the Points: After his Indianapolis 500 win, Franchitti jumped from 10th to sixth in IZOD IndyCar Series point standings and is tied with Simon Pagenaud at 136 points, 64 points behind the leader.