Team Target: Top-3 in Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Qualifying

MINNEAPOLIS - March 25, 2011
Target Chip Ganassi Racing completed IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Both Team Target cars made it to the Firestone Fast Six which resulted in a top-3 run for both drivers.
Franchitti qualified the No. 10 Target Honda Dallara on the outside of the front row with a 1:02.29.
"I was just finding the limit each lap more and more,” Dario said. “I was getting a little bit braver each lap but I just ran out of tire. Its a great starting spot and the Target crew did an outstanding job putting the car back together after the incident I had in the morning session."
Dixon posted a 1:02.39 in the No. 9 Target Honda Dallara and was third quick.
"It was pretty consistent for us today,” Scott commented. “ I messed up a little in the Firestone Fast 6 segment but we've been around the same speeds both days so far. I think we have a few tenths left in the car. I'm really looking forward to the double-wide restarts tomorrow. It should be a great show for the fans."
Team Target will compete tomorrow, March 27th in the IZOD IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. (ABC, 12:30 p.m. ET.)
1.   Dario Franchitti, No. 10 Target Honda Dallara
  2.   Will Power, No. 12 Honda Dallara
3.   Tony Kanaan, No. 82 Honda Dallara
  16. Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Honda Dallara
  Franchitti Victorious, Dixon 16th for Team Target in Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 27, 2011) Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) driver Dario Franchitti came home with his first victory at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, while Target teammate Scott Dixon finished 16th after being involved in a multi-car incident on lap one. It was the second consecutive win for the team after Dixon claimed the 2010 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Franchitti lined-up second on the grid and took the lead from polesitter Will Power on a lap four restart. He went on to lead 94 of the 100-lap event and took the checkered by 7.1612 seconds over Power. With the win, Franchitti ties Johnny Rutherford for 10th on the all-time Indy car wins list with 27.
Dixon started the race in third position but was collected in a lap one, turn one, multi-car incident that required a lengthy stop on pit lane for numerous repairs. The team would return to action four laps down and finished 16th.
- Franchitti won the season-opening race for the first time in his career
- Franchitti led 94 laps, the second-most laps led by the race winner. Helio Castroneves led 95 laps in 2007
- The win marks Franchitti’s ninth on a street course
- Franchitti’s last win came at Chicagoland Speedway in 2010 where he started second
- Franchitti gives Target Chip Ganassi Racing its first win at St. Petersburg and its 20th win on a street course
- The win comes in Franchitti’s 216th Indy car start
- This win marks TCGR’s 81st victory and CGR’s 137th win overall.
With the finishes, Franchitti leads the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 52, while Dixon stands 16th with 14 markers.
Up next for Team Target is Round 2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park Sunday, April 10th (3:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS).
TCGR Quoteboard:
Dario Franchitti: “These points count anytime; on the first race all the way through to the last race and I hope that I can make it easier on the team this year. But the Championship can change in a heartbeat and you have to fight all the way through to the end. The caliber of teams and drivers that we are up against shows what the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team did today. It is great to be here in the sunshine of St. Petersburg with the stands full and the Target car was running like a dream. I was focused on what Will Power was doing and that was a good moment when we got around him on the second restart. I thought we aren't going to win this Championship by just sitting back. There are still a lot of races to go and we are taking it one at a time. I am ready to go back to Barber after the test there earlier in the season." (About tying Johnny Rutherford for 10th on the all-time win list): "Johnny Rutherford is a legend and he is a friend of mine. It is a privilege to get to drive for the teams that I have and be a part of the IZOD IndyCar Series. It is on an upward swing and I need to thank the partners and vendors.”
About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.
Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and established a partnership with sponsor, Target. Today, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams includes two entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the IZOD IndyCar Series and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Cars Series. Overall his teams have 12 championships and 137 victories, including three Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and four Rolex 24 At Daytonas. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.
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