TEAM TARGET READIES FOR MID-OHIO
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Mid-Ohio Advance Notes
Race: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, August 5 (1:00 p.m. ET, ABC)
Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile road course)
Location: Lexington, Ohio
Team Target drivers, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon will make an announcement in the media center on Friday, Aug. 3 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
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 88 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 (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 Mid-Ohio: “The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a natural-terrain 2.258-mile road course that’s held major events since 1962. Our Target Indy cars reach top speeds in the passing zone of 180 mph. It’s tough to get right as there are great combinations of on-and-off camber corners that rise and fall through what’s called, “Thunder Valley.” It’s named for the great engine sounds that echo through the trees. Chassis set-up matched by car control requires precise execution for 200 miles. Not only have Dario and Scott gotten us to victory there, but they were preceded by Zanardi and Montoya, so our Target Team has been well-represented. Take a break from the Olympics to watch the Honda Indy 200 on ABC this Sunday.”
Going for the Gold at Mid-Ohio: TCGR drivers have made 33 starts at Mid-Ohio in 18 races, earning seven victories, two poles, 11 podiums, 20 top-fives and leading 330 laps. Team Target drivers have an average start of seventh and an average finish of 7.6 at the 2.258-mile road course. Since Indy car racing’s return to Mid-Ohio in 2007, Team Target drivers Franchitti and Dixon have not started lower than sixth or finished lower than fifth. Team Target enters this weekend having won the last three races at Mid-Ohio (2009: Dixon; 2010: Franchitti; 2011: Dixon).
Percentage Points: Team Target drivers have won seven of 18 races at Mid-Ohio, or 39 percent. Of a possible 1,537 laps, TCGR has led 330 laps, or 21.4 percent. In 33 total starts at Mid-Ohio, TCGR drivers have started in the top-five on 14 occasions, or in 42.4 percent of those starts. Team Target has finished on the podium 11 times at the 2.258-mile road course, or 33 percent.
Carrying the Torch: Dating back to 1990, TCGR has participated in 78 races on road courses making 149 starts. In those starts, Team Target has earned 20 wins, 12 poles, 46 podiums and 66 top-five finishes. TCGR has led 1,137 laps out of a possible 6,118, or 18.6 percent.
On Target: Since becoming Target teammates in 2009, Dixon and Franchitti have participated in 12 races on road circuits, making 24 starts between the two. In those 24 starts, Dixon and Franchitti have earned five wins, three poles, 16 podiums and have led 323 laps. Dating back to 2009, together the pair holds an average start of fifth and an average finish of 4.2.
Topping the Charts: Franchitti and Dixon rank first and second, respectively, in the number of victories among active 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 currently holds sole-possession of 11th on the all-time wins list with 28.
Looking for a Repeat: Dixon made it a clean sweep in last year’s Mid-Ohio race, starting from the pole and leading 50 laps en route to victory, with Franchitti finishing second. Since becoming teammates, Franchitti and Dixon have earned 16 double podiums, with half of those resulting in a victory for Team Target.
Honda Power: Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 75 points, -15 markers behind Chevrolet. Lotus is third with 44 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.
Edmonton Recap: Dixon rolled off 18th due to a grid penalty for exceeding the INDYCAR allotted five engines per season. On Lap 17, Dixon dropped back to 20th after the anti-stall function accidentally kicked in while turning into the hairpin. He would again start his move to the front of the field, making his first pit stop of the day from 16th. He methodically worked his way up to 11th by his final pit stop on Lap 55. The No. 9 Target Honda gained one more position, to finish the day in 10th.
Career at Mid-Ohio: In seven career Indy car starts at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has three wins (2007, 2009, 2011), one pole (2011), four podiums, six top-five finishes and zero DNFs (Did Not Finish). The No. 9 Target driver has completed all 600 laps at the 2.258-mile road course in his career, leading 130 laps, or 21.6 percent. He has an average start of 8.6 and an average finish of 5.4.
Mid-Ohio Rewind: Dixon took the green flag from the pole for the first time of the season and was able to extend his lead over the rest of the field during the early portion of the race. Following a caution on Lap 22, Dixon hit pit road with most of the leaders, restarting third behind cars that stayed out. He quickly moved back up into second and began chasing down the leader. On a late restart, Dixon drove the No. 9 Target Honda back into the lead with less than 30 laps to go. After pulling away from second, Dixon led the remainder of the race and went on to score his first victory of the season.
A Perfect 10: In 34 starts on road courses, Dixon has eight wins, three poles, 14 podiums and 20 top-five finishes. He has led 371 laps out of a possible 2,603, or 14.3 percent. He has an average start of 6.1 and an average finish of 5.5.
Did You Know?: With last year’s victory at Mid-Ohio, Dixon tied Emerson Fittipaldi for first on the Indy car 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.
In the Points: Dixon remains fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 301 points, -61 points behind leader, Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. Dixon holds sole possession of 11th on the all-time wins list with 28 victories 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 GE TEAM
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 GE Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
Keeping the Streak Alive: Franchitti is currently riding a streak of five consecutive front row starts, beginning in Texas where he rolled of second, followed by a career-best three consecutive poles and ending with a second-place qualifying effort in Edmonton.
Edmonton Recap: Franchitti qualified the No. 10 Target Honda second, but rolled off first for the fourth consecutive race due to a grid penalty for the pole-sitter. At the start of the 75-lap race, Franchitti settled into second, where he ran until making his first pit stop of the day on Lap 26. After the green-flag pit stop, Franchitti took part in a three-car battle for the lead, eventually holding on to third. On Lap 53, the No. 10 Target Honda made its second green flag pit stop, returning to the track in sixth. Franchitti held that spot for the remainder of the race, crossing the line in sixth.
Career at Mid-Ohio: In 10 career starts at Mid-Ohio, Franchitti has one win (2010), two poles (1998, 1999), five podiums and has led 93 laps. In his last four visits to the road course, the No. 10 GE driver has four podium finishes. He has an average start of 4.2 and an average finish of 10.3.
Mid-Ohio Rewind: Franchitti started the afternoon third and spent the entire first run of the race inside the top-three. Under the first caution of the day, the No. 10 GE Honda headed to pit road for tires and fuel. After restarting fourth, Franchitti wasted little time moving back into the top-three, using the outside lane to make the pass for third. He held his position during the next stint, picking up the lead during a round of green flag pit stops. While on pit road, the caution flew again and after beating Dixon to the blend line, Franchitti was awarded the lead for the restart. On the final restart, Franchitti fell to second behind Dixon, holding the spot for the remainder of the race.
Road Warrior: In his Indy car career, Franchitti has participated in 47 races on road courses, earning four victories, five poles, 20 podiums and leading 338 laps. He has an average start of 6.5 and an average finish of 9.4.
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).
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 258 points, -104 behind Hunter-Reay.
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. With three consecutive poles at Milwaukee, Iowa and Toronto, Franchitti holds sole possession of eighth on the all-time poles list with 29.