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Jul 03, 2013 - 06:35 AM
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2013 Pocono: Target Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 03, 2013 - 06:32 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Pocono: Target Ganassi IndyCar Race Preview


Ovals Abound: Pocono Raceway is the fourth and final run of the four consecutive ovals– one intermediate (Texas), one superspeedway (Pocono) and two short ovals (Milwaukee and Iowa). Following the race, the series won’t return to an oval until the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on October 19th.


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Oval Facts: Since 1990, TCGR has made 419 starts on ovals, earning 45 wins, 45 poles, 164 top-five finishes (39.1%), 266 top-10 finishes (63.4%), 108 podiums and 21 double podiums.

The Tricky Triangle: Pocono Raceway, also known as the Tricky Triangle, is a superspeedway located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania at Long Pond. Pocono Raceway has a unique design. Each turn is modeled after turns at three different tracks. Turn One (14 degree banking) was modeled after the now defunct Trenton Speedway in Trenton, N.J., Turn Two (also known as "The Tunnel Turn") is like Indianapolis Motor Speedway (9 degree banking), and Turn 3 (6 degree banking) is similar to The Milwaukee Mile. It could be said to be a tri-oval, but the turns are much more severe than those of a more typical tri-oval such as Daytona and the track is really nearly a triangle. They have been likened somewhat to the hairpin-style turns of road courses. An additional complication is that the three turns are not identical, nor are any of the three straights identical in length. The banking of each turn is considerably less than on many other long ovals. Although the track is long (2.5 miles), the sharp nature of the turns and low banking tends to make the overall speeds much lower than at other tracks of similar lengths. For its unique characteristics, Pocono is sometimes referred to as a roval. Others refer to Pocono as a modified road course due to the use of shifting gears to handle the range between the slowest curve and the fastest straightaway.

Crowning Moment: This season, the IndyCar Triple Crown has been revived for the first time since 1989. A driver who sweeps the races at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway (May 26), 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway (July 7) and 2-mile Auto Club Speedway (Oct. 19) ovals will be awarded $1 million. A driver who wins two of the three races will be awarded a $250,000 bonus. The Fuzzy's Triple Crown renews the tradition of the popular series at Indianapolis, Pocono and Ontario (Calif.) from 1971-1980 and from 1981-1989 at Indianapolis, Pocono and Michigan. Only Al Unser has won all three races in a single season in 1978.

Prior Pocono Experience: Franchitti is the only open wheel driver with prior Pocono experience. When competing in NASCAR, he raced at Pocono during the 2008 season in the Sprint Cup Series. “It’s great to be back in this part of the country because of the history here,” said Franchitti last week during an appearance at the Philadelphia Union’s soccer stadium in Chester, Pa. “The speed was a shock; you go from running a 165 [mph] average [in Sprint Cup races] to a 215 average. We were going wide open through Turn 3.”


Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow Target Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.9 and No.10 teams throughout the 2013 season by following ���œ@TCGRTeams”.

CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.


@scottdixon9: “Good day testing in Sebring. A little rain cut the day short! pic.twitter.com/eEzRywUWwY”


Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

In the Off-Weekend: Scott spent the weekend camping with his family south of Indianapolis on Lake Monroe in Indiana, enjoying the outdoors and a few days off from racing.

Iowa Race Rewind: With a first-place finish in the first Heat Qualifying Race and a fifth-place finish in the final Heat Race, Dixon started the race 15th in the No. 9 Target Honda on the 7/8-mile oval. From the green flag Dixon drove consistently and held his ground in 15th. As the first caution fell on lap 40 of 250, the No. 9 car took to pit lane and gained five spots upon his return to the course. On a lap 53 restart, Dixon fell back three spots to 13th but worked his way to 10th on lap 80 and set the second -fastest race lap. By lap 118 the No. 9 car fought up to eighth and was able to pass two more cars to sixth before a second caution was called on lap 138. With 98 laps to go, Dixon moved to fifth before a third caution was called for debris on lap 152. The No. 9 car faded toward the back of the pack in 12th, due to a misfire in the engine on lap 191. The team limped home as a result of the issue to finish 16th.

Oval Success: In 126 starts on oval tracks, Dixon has 17 wins, 13 poles and has led 3,373 laps.

In the Points: Following Iowa, Dixon moved to seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 240 markers, -92 points behind leader Helio Castroneves.

The Ice Man Returns: The two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner returns in 2013 for his fifth season alongside four-time Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner (2007, 2010, 2012) Franchitti. Dixon is tied with Rick Mears for 10th place on the all-time Indy car wins list (1909-Present) with 29 victories and is tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.

Go with What you Know: 2013 marks Dixon’s 12th year with Team Target – the longest tenure for any driver in team history (1990-Present).

Dario Franchitti and No. 10 Energizer Team

In the Off-Weekend: Dario spent the weekend back home in Scotland to rest and visit with family. Before he left the country he went to Pittsburgh for Chip Ganassi Racing’s annual Sponsor Summit meeting.

Iowa Race Rewind: With a ninth-place finish in the first Heat Qualifying Race, Franchitti started the race on the inside of the 11th row qualifying the No. 10 Honda 21st. On lap 25 of 250, Franchitti moved his way up to 19th and held his ground. The first caution was called on lap 40 and the No. 10 car took the opportunity to pit with the rest of the field. The No. 10 team had made good ground through lap 53 having passed seven cars to 14th. On lap 95, Franchitti struggled with the car and reported he felt loose in traffic and tried to stiffen the front bar in the car and dropped to 17th. The No. 10 car pit on lap 121 for a front wing adjustment and returned to the course one lap down and in 22nd. On a lap 149 restart, Franchitti moved to 21st, two laps down to the leaders. After another restart on lap 179, Franchitti passed another car to finish 20th.

Oval Office: Franchitti has participated in 135 oval races, earning 16 victories, 14 poles and leading 3,383 laps.

In the Points: With the results in Iowa, Franchitti moved to 12th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 202 markers, -130 points behind leader Helio Castroneves.

Rarified Air: Dario is one of only five drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same season more than once. By winning the 2012 Indianapolis 500, he became just the 10th driver in history to win the race three times.

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.

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