Franchitti Closes in on Points Lead with Second at Motegi, Dixon Sixth

MINNEAPOLIS - September 20, 2010
Results from Twin Ring Motegi
1.     Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Honda
2.     Dario Franchitti, No. 10 Target Honda
3.     Will Power, No. 12 Honda
6.     Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Honda
Team Target earned two top-10 finishes at Twin Ring Motegi in Round 16 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with Dario Franchitti placing second and Scott Dixon finishing sixth.  In the last five races, Franchitti has outscored championship leader Will Power 205 points to 167 points, and now stands just 12 points back entering the season finale in Homestead October 2.
Franchitti lined-up fourth on the grid and passed his way into second on lap 123 (where he would eventually finish), one spot ahead of points leader Power at the end of the 200-lap race.
With the second-place finish, Franchitti claimed the inaugural A.J. Foyt Oval Championship Trophy with an average finish of 4.8 on seven of the eight ovals on the season.  Franchitti edged out Penske driver Helio Castroneves and Target teammate Dixon to win the award.
Dixon started from the 11th position and ran inside the top-10 for the majority of the event.  He made his way up to as high as fifth on lap 104, before eventually finishing sixth.
-       In the last three races at Motegi, Franchitti has scored three consecutive podium finishes.
-       Franchitti’s second-place finish marks his eighth consecutive top-five and seventh podium finish in the last eight starts.
-       It is Dixon’s 14th top-10 finish of the 2010 season.
-       The sixth-place finish marked Dixon’s sixth top-10 finish in eight races at Motegi.
With the finish, Franchitti remains second in the championship with 575 points, gaining five points on leader Power.  Dixon fell one position to fourth in the championship with 497 points, 90 points out of the top spot, and was mathematically eliminated from the title hunt.
Up next for Team Target is Round 17 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300, October 2 (6:00 p.m. ET on VERSUS).
TCGR Quoteboard:
Dario Franchitti: “The race started very well. I was really the only person that could mix it up with Ryan (Briscoe) and Helio (Castroneves) all day. We were very good on restarts. We did make a small mistake on the downforce level today, but we did OK.   Helio was just in a class of his own in terms of sheer speed but we could get him on the restarts occasionally. I was fighting as hard as I could with those guys. Will's guys did a great job in the pits and got him back up into contention. We can only control what we do and we did our best.”
About Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR)
Target Chip Ganassi Racing is the reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner and two-time reigning IZOD IndyCar Series Champion. Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and established a partnership with sponsor, Target. Today, Target Chip Ganassi Racing includes two entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series for 2008/2003 Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon, and 2009/2007 Champion and 2010/2007 Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti. Target Chip Ganassi Racing has collected seven Championships and 79 wins since 1994 and operates out of a state-of-the-art race shop facility in Indianapolis, with a corporate office in Pittsburgh.
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