Franchitti Wins Third Indianapolis 500, Dixon Finishes Second

MINNEAPOLIS - May 28, 2012
Results (with starting pos.) from Indianapolis
1. (16) Dario Franchitti, No. 50 Target Honda
2. (15) Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Honda
3. (8) Tony Kanaan, No. 11 Chevrolet  

Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) driver Dario Franchitti led 23 laps en route to his third victory in the Indianapolis 500 and the 31st win of his career, while Target Teammate Scott Dixon joined Franchitti on the podium with his third second-place finish of the season.   
 
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.  
 
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.  
 
With the results, Dixon moves up two spots to fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 153 points, 47 points behind leader Will Power.  Franchitti improves to sixth in the standings with 136 points.  
 
Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 33, trailing Chevrolet by 9.  Lotus is third with 20.  
 
Up next for Team Target is Round 6 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from Detroit, Michigan on Sunday June 3 (3:30 pm ET on ABC).  

NOTES
  • In celebration of Target’s 50th Anniversary this May, Franchitti ran the No. 50 instead of his usual No. 10
  • Franchitti gives TCGR its fourth victory in the Indianapolis 500. (2000: Juan Pablo Montoya; 2008: Dixon; 2010: Franchitti; 2012: Franchitti)
  • This win marks Ganassi’s fifth Indianapolis 500 victory.  He won his first Indianapolis 500 as a team owner after joining Pat Patrick to field Emerson Fittipaldi in 1989.  Fittipaldi started third and led 158 laps to win the race
  • With his fifth win as an owner, Chip Ganassi is now tied with Lou Moore for second all-time in Indianapolis 500 wins behind only Roger Penske.
  • This is Franchitti’s third win in the Indianapolis 500 (2007, 2010, 2012)
  • This win marks TCGR’s 87th win and CGRT’s 146th win overall
  • The 96th win for the Target Race Program comes in the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500
  • Yesterday’s victory in the Indianapolis 500 is Franchitti’s 31st win in Indy car racing, tying him with Paul Tracy and Sebastien Bourdais for seventh on the all-time Indy car wins list
  • There have been six three-time winners of the event.  For all six three-time winners (Louis Meyer – 1928, 1933, 1936; Wilbur Shaw – 1937, 1939, 1940; Mauri Rose – 1941, 1947, 1948; Johnny Rutherford – 1974, 1976, 1980; Bobby Unser – 1968, 1975, 1981 and Helio Castroneves – 2001, 2002, 2009) none had the same car number in all three races.  Franchitti joins the list winning with the No. 27 (2007), the No. 10 (2010) and the No. 50 (2012)
  • In 40 starts at IMS, TCGR drivers have amassed four wins (2000: Montoya; 2008: Dixon; 2010: Franchitti, 2012: Franchitti), three poles, 15 top-fives and 25 top-10s
  • Today’s first and second-place finishes mark TCGR’s 31st double podium and the 15th double podium for Franchitti and Dixon since becoming teammates in 2009
  • This marks the second time Franchitti and Dixon finished 1-2, respectively, in the Indianapolis 500
  • This win is Franchitti’s 16th victory on an oval, and comes in his 237th start in Indy car racing
  • There are only two drivers from Scotland that have ever won the Indianapolis 500: Jimmy Clark, from Kilmany, won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965 and Franchitti, from Edinburgh.
  • Yesterday’s victory marks Franchitti’s 109th top-five and 152nd top-10
  • Franchitti has led at least one lap in seven of his nine starts at IMS
  • Franchitti led seven times for 23 laps
  • Dixon led nine times for a total of 53 laps
  • This is the seventh race, in 10 starts, at IMS where Dixon has led at least one lap
  • Dixon and Franchitti have lead laps in four of the five races this season
  • Dixon’s lap 177 pass for the lead broke the record for lead changes in the Indianapolis 500, with 30
  • Yesterday’s second-place finish marks Dixon’s third podium at IMS (2007, 2008, 2012) and the 68th podium of his career
  • Dixon’s top-five finish is his third top-five of the season, his fifth at IMS and the 93rd of his career.
  • This second-place finish marks Dixon’s 135th career top-10
  • Dixon has completed the last 1,366 consecutive laps of Indianapolis 500 competition, which represents the most consecutive laps completed by a driver in Indianapolis 500 history
  • Since 1990, Indy cars have visited oval tracks 212 times.  TCGR has accumulated 45 victories, 43 poles, 162 top-fives and 264 top-10s on ovals
TCGR Quote Board:  

Dario Franchitti:  “I just want to dedicate this two of Indianapolis’ finest, Dan Wheldon and Michael Wanser.  Thank you to all the fans for supporting our buddy Dan today.  What a race, what a race.  I think D-dub (Wheldon) would be proud of that one.  Thank you to this Target Team and my buddy Scott Dixon.  I was looking at the pylon and I was thinking ‘I don’t know who is going to win it’, but everybody up there was a friend of Dan’s and I think that about sums it up, everybody loved Dan.  I’ve got to say thank you to Honda as well, we had a really tough qualifying and these guys worked so hard.  Every IndyCar race I’ve won has been with Honda.  This means the world, this is Indianapolis, man, three times.  To get to be on the trophy beside Dan that’s more important than anything.  The last week I’ve been studying Johnny Rutherford’s book, he said he hoped to welcome me to the three-time club.  To be in the company of guys like that means so much.  What a great race today.  I can’t say enough about this Target team and the adversity they’ve been through.”  

Scott Dixon:  “It was pretty close and (Dario Franchitti and Takuma Sato) got a run on me into (Turn) 1 there.  Sato was definitely a guy throwing it in there all day and he tried to do the same thing to Dario.  I thought we were going to get really lucky because they touched and I thought they were both going to end up in the fence.  Credit to Dario.  He had a bad start to the day and came through the field.  It’s a 1-2 finish for Target on their 50th anniversary.  You couldn’t have it a better way.”    

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc.
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world.  Today his teams include four in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.  Overall his teams have 14 championships and 145 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.  
 
For more information log onto chipganassiracing.com

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