Dixon Leads Team Target with Pair of Fourth-Place Finishes in Detroit Doubleheader

MINNEAPOLIS - June 2, 2013

Results (with starting pos.) for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

Dual 1

1. (2) Mike Conway (No. 18 Honda)
2. (4) Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 1 Chevrolet)
3. (16) Justin Wilson (No. 19 Honda)
4. (15) Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Honda)
6. (11) Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Suave Honda)

Dual 2

1. (6) Simon Pagenaud (No. 77 Honda)
2. (2) James Jake (No. 16 Honda)
3. (1) Mike Conway (No. 18 Honda)
4. (7) Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Honda)
5. (16) Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Suave Honda)

Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) drivers Scott Dixon (fourth, fourth) and Dario Franchitti (sixth, fifth) completed both Rounds 6 and 7 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit on the Raceway At Belle Isle Park.  The Target drives advanced 10 combined spots in the championship title race over the weekend, with Dixon jumping from eighth to fourth and Franchitti moving from 17th to 11th.

Dual 1 – Saturday, June 1

Dixon started Dual 1 on the inside of the eighth row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda 15th on the 2.36-mile temporary street circuit.  On lap 1 of 70 Dixon was forced to pit for a rear wing after the No. 2 car had contact with the rear of the No. 9 car.  On lap 3 under caution the No. 9 car pit for a second time to check the front wing and topped off fuel, sending Dixon to the back of the field for the second time.  On a lap 5 restart Dixon (in 24th) fought his way to 19th.  On lap 28 under caution, the No. 9 car (in 12th) picked up three spots on the restart to advance up to ninth.  On lap 64 while in third, the team made their final stop and returned to the track to finish in fourth. 

Franchitti started the race on the inside of the sixth row after qualifying the No. 10 Suave Honda on pole position, but started 11th due to a grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change incurred at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Round 5.  On lap 7 Franchitti worked his way up from eighth to fifth.  On lap 32 the No. 10 car passed up to third, and by lap 46 had dropped to fifth.  With seven laps to go, the No. 10 car worked its way from 12th up to seventh, and with six laps to go Franchitti fought to keep sixth, where he would ultimately finish.

Dual 2 – Sunday, June 2

Dixon started the race on the inside of the fourth row after qualifying the No. 9 Target Honda car seventh.  On lap 9 of 70, Dixon made his way around the No. 5 car for sixth as the course went under caution.  On a lap 16 restart, the No. 9 car made its way to fifth, and on lap 20 under caution, Dixon stayed out in second as the pit stops cycled through.  The No. 9 car started experiencing shifting problems in the race, and on lap 28, Dixon held second until the team pit under caution on lap 29.  With seven laps to go the No. 9 car passed for fourth, where it would ultimately finish, even after experiencing late-race suspension problems due to a hole in the rear of the car.

Franchitti started the race on the outside of the eighth row after qualifying the No. 10 Suave Honda 16th.  On lap 1 of 70, Franchitti was able to advance to 13th.  On a lap 16 restart, the No. 10 car moved up to 10th, and on a lap 24 restart, Franchitti was able to maneuver to third by lap 28.  On a lap 38 restart, Franchitti held third and with seven laps to go moved to fifth, where he would ultimately finish the race.

With the results, Dixon is now fourth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 186 markers, -20 points behind co-leaders Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti.  Franchitti is now 11th with 140 markers, -66 points back.

Honda is second in the manufacturer point standings with 51 points, trailing Chevrolet with 54.

Up next for Team Target is Round 8 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Firestone 550 from Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, June 8th (8:30pm ET ABC).

NOTES

- Franchitti won his first pole in Detroit in Dual 1, tying him for seventh on the all-time list with Sebastien Bourdais with 31.

- The pole by Franchitti was the second of the season (Long Beach).

- Honda swept both duals, including the top-five spots in Dual 2.

- The Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit marked the first of three doubleheaders on the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, where entrants raced in a pair of 70-lap races.

TCGR Quoteboard Dual 1

Scott Dixon:  “There was a lot of good fighting going out there.  What a fun race. The car had a lot of great speed today so I was excited for the No. 9 Target team.  We were fighting with Justin [Wilson] in the end for the podium finish but I used way too many push-to-passes early on.  I didn’t want to push the envelope though and cause an accident after we had already gone from the back to the front of the field.”

Dario Franchitti:  “We had a really good first stint with the Suave car.  But then on either the second or third restart we got shuffled back.  Helio [Castroneves] got down the inside of us and locked up his tires and I had to go wide to avoid him.  I probably lost five places in three corners there during that exchange.  From there it was just a case of coming back through the field. The team did a bit of strategy and I was trying to make some passes there.  I have to say the Suave car was very fast.  It was just a matter of getting some clear track to make things happen.  It was a good team effort today. We need to make a few changes for tomorrow to see if we can improve things.”

TCGR Quoteboard Dual 2

Scott Dixon:  “It wasn’t as physical as yesterday’s race with the caution periods and everything.  It was still a grueling day and we had a few issues with the car with the shifting and then toward the end when we were on red tires something broke in the suspension.  It wore a big hole in the car so I’m just happy the Target car finished where it did today.”                                                                   

Dario Franchitti:  “Our day was pretty crazy.  We took a very aggressive strategy on the Suave car. We had to make some serious fuel mileage at the end which was frustrating for us because we were really fast.  We just had to make that fuel mileage because another trip to the pits would have sent us way back there.  We struggled a little bit on restarts to get going and I was thankful to be out in front of that big crash.  It was a pretty interesting day at the office.                                           

About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams

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 three cars 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 15 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and five 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: www.chipganassiracing.com

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